Henry County leader appoints interim county commissioner

Probate Judge Kelley Powell on Monday swears in Greg Cannon as Henry's interim District 3 county commissioner. (PHOTO: HENRY COUNTY COMMISSION)
Probate Judge Kelley Powell on Monday swears in Greg Cannon as Henry's interim District 3 county commissioner. (PHOTO: HENRY COUNTY COMMISSION)

Henry County Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell has appointed Republican Greg Cannon to the commission seat formerly held by Gary Barham.

Cannon, CEO and co-owner of Cannon Cleveland Funeral Directors, was sworn in to the interim role on Monday, just days after new state legislation directing Harrell to make the appointment if the full board could not come to a consensus on Barham’s replacement was sent to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk.

Barham, a Republican who represented District 3 in Henry, died in early March of complications from COVID-19.

The future of Barham’s seat has been the subject of controversy on the six-member commission. Three of the four Democrats on the commission have pushed to leave the seat vacant until a June special election for the position. They contend that Henry, the metro area’s second-fastest growing county, is changing demographically and that placing a Republican in the seat, even if temporarily, gives the GOP an advantage in a community that increasingly favors Democrats.

But fellow Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, pushed through state legislation to replace Barham with a candidate suggested by the Henry Republican Party. After the commission could not get a majority vote on a candidate in March -- Harrell recused herself from casting a ballot -- Jones pushed through a second piece of legislation to give the chairwoman the power to appoint a replacement.

Cannon has been a member of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Rotary Club, and was the chairman of the Stewardship Committee for McDonough Presbyterian Church. He also has served on Sacred Journey Hospice’s Foundation Board of Directors.

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