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Columbia County elections result in two runoffs

Posted: August 2, 2012 - 11:17am  |  Updated: August 5, 2012 - 12:05am
Lee Anderson, talking to supporter Kelly Gates, will face either Rick Allen or Wright McLeod in a GOP runoff in the 12th Congressional District.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Lee Anderson, talking to supporter Kelly Gates, will face either Rick Allen or Wright McLeod in a GOP runoff in the 12th Congressional District.

No race is run until it’s done.

While most of the races on Tuesday’s election ballot have been decided and announced, there are still a few high-profile contests that won’t be settled until an Aug. 21 runoff.

Columbia County District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen beat challenger Lee Benedict and District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen won over Jan “Butch” Holley, with each incumbent getting nearly 70 percent of the vote.

In the District 121 state House race, Barry Fleming beat Mike Popplewell with 61.54 percent of the vote.

There won’t be a runoff in the race for chief magistrate despite a three-candidate field, as Jason Troiano took nearly 54 percent of the vote against Jason Hasty and Chris Hudson.

The winners of those races, all Republicans, face no Democratic opposition in November.

In the nonpartisan District 4 school board race, Roxanne Whitaker got nearly 60 percent of the vote to beat Deborah Fisher and Bobby Ray Strickland.

Still undecided, however, are the District 1 school board race and the Republican race for the 12th District Congressional seat. The school board runoff will have Carolyn Chase, who received 36 percent of the vote, facing off against David Dekle, who received nearly 45 percent. Out of the running is Brian Slowinski, who received 19 percent.

In the Republican race for the 12th District congressional seat, Lee Anderson will face either Rick Allen or Wright McLeod. Initial counts had Allen ahead of McLeod by only a few hundred votes, and as of Friday morning a second-place finisher had not yet been declared pending a possible recount.

The winner of the runoff will face Democratic incumbent John Barrow in the November general election.

Nancy Gay, registration coordinator at the Columbia County Board of Elections, said early and absentee voting for the runoff will begin “just as soon as it is practical.”

“Once we have a (final) ballot, it will be easier to give a date,” she said.

As a result of the Sunday package sales measure passing on Tuesday, alcohol will be sold on Sundays in Columbia County beginning Labor Day weekend. The measure also passed in Harlem, but the city council has not yet set a date for sales to start. Sunday sales have been allowed in Grovetown since December.

Columbia County voters rejected the transportation sales tax, but its passage in the rest of the Central Savannah River Area tax district means the sales tax will increase to 8 percent starting Jan. 1. Of the 12 districts in Georgia, only three approved the sales tax.

On the nonbinding questions on Republican and Democrat ballots, Columbia County voted in favor of limiting lobbyist gifts, granting gun licenses to service members younger than 21, the life amendment question, tax credits for home energy costs, and a Made in Georgia tax break.

Advance declaration of party affiliation and casino gambling failed.

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