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Byrne Endorsed By Taxpayers Group

The Cobb Taxpayers Association says the Cobb commission chairman candidate "would represent a refreshing and much needed change in direction."

Former Cobb commission chairman Bill Byrne, who's seeking to get back his old job, received a significant endorsement today from a leading taxpayer advocacy group. 

The Cobb Taxpayers Association announced this morning , who served as chairman from 1992-2002, because "his leadership would represent a refreshing and much needed change in direction from the County's current Chairman.”

The CTA has been critical of incumbent and East Cobb resident Tim Lee, one of four Republicans vying in the July 31 primary. During his campaign, Lee has defended his votes in 2011 to extend the Cobb SPLOST and raise property taxes and his support for the Atlanta regional transportation referendum (TSPLOST), which is also on this month's ballot. 

"He is taking Cobb in the exact opposite direction that we need to go, CTA president Lance Lamberton said of Lee. "We need less money in the hands of politicians and their friends who stand to earn huge profits at taxpayer expense. Taxpayers and small businesses throughout Cobb need tax relief as the only legitimate formula for getting our local economy back on track. With Bill Byrne, we've got a proven leader who can accomplish that for us."

Also running in the GOP primary are two East Cobbers, Mike Boyce and Larry Savage, who also have been critical of Lee's record. There is no Democratic candidate. 

Lee, who formerly served District 3 (Northeast Cobb) on the commission, was elected in a special election in 2010 to fill the unexpired term of Sam Olens, who is now Georgia's attorney general.

In an article in The Marietta Daily Journal on Sunday, Lee stood by his votes, saying that raising the millage rate to balance the Cobb budget last year "was the right thing to do" because a serious paring down of needed county services would have been necessary without it.

The refrains by Lee and his challengers have been common during this campaign, including  at the . 

for the primary began on Monday and continues through July 27 at the main Cobb Elections office in Marietta. 

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