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Sheriffs win primaries; 2 runoffs in Long County
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The rest of the General Primary ballot

Besides the contested county races in Tuesday’s election, voters in Liberty and Long counties faced a host of other choices, whether they chose to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary.

Liberty County

On the Democratic side, running unopposed were:

- Board of Commissioners, District 5 — Gary Gilliard (incumbent)

- Board of Commissioners, District 6 — Eddie Walden (incumbent)

- Clerk of Superior Court — Linda Dixon Thompson

- Coroner — Reginald Pierce (incumbent)

- Judge of Probate Court — Nancy K. Aspinwall (incumbent)

- Tax Commissioner — Virgil Jones (incumbent)

Uncontested nonpartisan races were:

- Board of Education, District 1 — Verdell Jones (incumbent)

- Board of Education, District 2 — Carolyn Carter (incumbent)

- Board of Education, District 3 — Carol Guyett (incumbent)

- Judge of State Court — Leon Braun (incumbent)

- Solicitor of State Court — Jeffery Osteen (incumbent)

These races were uncontested on party ballots Tuesday, but the candidates will face each other in the November general election:

- Board of Commissioners Chairman, District 7 — Donald Lovette (D, incumbent) and Matt Mattingly (R)

- Board of Commissioners, District 4 — Pat Bowen (D, incumbent) and Ted Eby (R)

Long County

On the Democratic side, running unopposed were:

- Tax Commissioner — Becky Fowler (incumbent)

- Clerk of Superior Court — Sherry Long (incumbent)

- Coroner — Emmett Patterson (incumbent)

The only Republican running unopposed in the primary who will not face a general-election opponent is Clifton DeLoach, the incumbent District 4 representative on the Board of Commissioners.

Uncontested nonpartisan races were:

- Board of Education, District 1 — Dennis DeLoach (incumbent)

- Board of Education, District 3 — Florence Baggs (incumbent)

- Judge of State Court — Jeffery Arnold (incumbent)

Other contests

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson coasted to victory in the Republican primary, capturing 77.5 percent of the vote in a three-way race with Derrick Grayson and Mary Kay Bacallao.

Isakson will face Jim Barksdale, who won the three-way Democratic primary with 53.8 percent of the vote over Cheryl Copeland (42.1 percent) and John Coyne III (4.1 percent).

District 2 Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols easily won another term, capturing 69 percent of the vote in a three-way Republican primary over Michelle Miller and Kellie Pollard Austin. No Democrats ran for this seat.

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., ran unopposed for the 1st Congressional District seat, meaning he will serve a second term. The same is true for state Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, in District 1.

The open state Senate District 19 seat, being vacated by the retiring Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, goes to Blake Tillery, who captured 57.6 percent of the vote in a three-way Republican primary over Delvis Dutton (25.8 percent) and Kevin Parker (16.6 percent). No Democrats ran.

State Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, was uncontested in House District 164, as was Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, in District 168.

In House District 167, state Rep. Jeff Jones, R-Brunswick, will face Democratic challenger Steve Reighard in November. Both were unopposed in their respective primaries Tuesday.

Atlantic Judicial Circuit Superior Court judges Charles Rose and Robert Russell ran unopposed.

State Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias and Georgia Court of Appeals judges Anne Barnes and Chris McFadden, all incumbents, were also uncontested.

Voters who chose the Democratic ballot answered four party questions. They responded yes by the percentage shown with each question:

1. Should Georgia invest less than 1 percent of its annual budget to provide health care to 500,000 low-income citizens and military veterans by expanding Medicaid? (84.4 percent)

2. Should Georgia guarantee paid family leave to include pregnancy, serious illness, care of a family member with a serious health condition or care for a newborn, newly adopted child or newly placed foster child? (88.9 percent)

3. Should private property on rivers and streams be protected by natural vegetative buffers to ensure that Georgia’s waters are swimmable, drinkable and fishable? (87.5 percent)

4. Should Georgia automatically register to vote all legal and permanent residents upon issuance of a driver’s license or state-issued ID which includes an opt-out provision? (79.8 percent)

Republican voters had one question: Should Georgia empower parents with the right to use the tax dollars allocated for the education of their children, allowing them the freedom to choose among public, private, virtual and home-schools? Statewide, 74.6 percent of respondents answered yes.


The Liberty and Long county sheriffs won their respective primaries Tuesday, one Long County commissioner primary went to a recount Friday, and another Long commissioner primary might go to a recount next week.

Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes will face Republican challenger Robert Brooks in the November general election, while Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles will face GOP challenger Timothy Works.

Sikes won the majority of votes, 2,506 (51 percent) in a five-way Democratic race. Will Bowman was second with 1,762 (35.8 percent), according to certified results the Liberty County Board of Elections released Friday.

The other three candidates, Lamar Cook, Rondy Bacon and Elton Dudley, each received less than 10 percent of the vote. Brooks was uncontested in the Republican primary.

In the other Liberty County contested race, Chief Magistrate Melinda Anderson (D) easily turned back a challenge by Kenneth Wells. Anderson had 3,847 votes (86 percent) to Wells’ 624 (14 percent). With no Republicans running, Anderson wins another term.

The Liberty County School System’s Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was easily renewed, as 3,564 (67.9 percent) voted yes, while 1,682 (32.1 percent) voted no. The 1 percent sales tax funds technology and capital improvements in the school district.

In Long County, Nobles won the Democratic primary with 1,449 votes votes (77.9 percent), compared to 412 (22.1 percent) for challenger Shane Middleton. Works was uncontested in the GOP primary.

Several Long County incumbents were ousted.

On the Board of Commissioners, District 1 challenger David Richardson (D) had 191 votes (54.6 percent) to incumbent Gerald Blocker’s 159 votes (45.4 percent). That means Richardson will face Republican Brian Bray in November.

District 2 had a tight three-way Democratic race that went to a recount. Incumbent Robert Long had 130 votes (34.1 percent), while Charles Brady had 126 (33.1 percent) and Wallace Shaw drew 125 (32.8 percent). The recount confirmed that result, Elections Supervisor Kierra Hamilton said Friday, so Long and Brady advance to a July 26 runoff.

The winner of this primary will face Republican Mike Riddle in November.

District 3 featured another tight race, with incumbent Willie Thompson beating challenger Walt Pelton by just three votes, 103 to 99, or 501 percent to 49 percent. Hamilton said Pelton has two business days — or until Wednesday because Monday is a holiday — to request a recount.

The winner will effectively win the seat, as there are no Republican candidates.

The race in District 5 was also close. Challenger Bobby Walker eked out a victory over incumbent Dwight Gordon by 15 votes, 312 to 297, or 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent. Walker will face Republican Randall Klingensmith in November.

Long County probate judge had a three-way nonpartisan race. Bobby Smith, who got 912 votes (43 percent) and Teresa Odum, who had 634 votes (29.9 percent), will advance to the runoff. Rita Deen was in third place with 573votes (27 percent).

Three Board of Education seats were also contested. These are nonpartisan races with two candidates each, so the primary effectively decides the winner.

District 2 incumbent Carolyn Williamson held onto her seat, fending off a challenge from Arthur Davis. Williamson received 293 votes (66.4 percent) to 148, or 33.6 percent, for Davis, according to unofficial totals.

In District 4, former board member Linda Sasser DeLoach easily reclaimed the seat, collecting 185 votes (60.7 percent) to incumbent Janet M. Watford’s 120 (39.3 percent).

District 5 incumbent Julie Norman Dawson won another term with 384 votes (55.8 percent) to 304 (44.2 percent) for challenger David “Bubba” Howard.

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