It's not an election year, but Columbia County News-Times readers have cast their votes for favorites - favorite seafood restaurant, favorite nail salon, favorite lawyer and many other services.
Readers voted online and mailed in forms for their top picks in more than 100 categories.
For many of the businesses and services selected, it's the details they believe might have gotten them to the top of the list.
At Peppermill, chosen as "most romantic restaurant" and "best kept secret," fresh flowers adorn the tables and soft music plays.
"We do have a lot of couples that come in here," said Cory Rhoades, a server at Peppermill.
At the voters' choice for java, Abbi's Coffee Mill & Roastery, 47 special blends are specially made at the Martinez location.
When it comes to hot dogs, Dino's Chicago Express ships them south from from the Windy City, where Vienna hot dogs have an almost cultlike following.
That's why Dino's owner Dino Dakuras said he wasn't all that surprised at the recognition.
"Yes, we have the best hot dogs in Columbia County, but it's the loyalty of our customers and our team and the consistency of our product that makes us what we are," said Dakuras, who has become involved in the community since opening his restaurant. "Columbia County has welcomed us with open arms."
But not all categories were for favorite businesses.
The Columbia County Justice Center was considered the top public improvement of the past five years, and church was the leading place to carry out charitable intentions.
Also, not all category winners were certain if their designation really meant being the people's "favorite."
"I started out trying to do enough things so that people did have an opinion of me," state Sen. Joey Brush said, explaining how he might have secured the spot as "most known person" from Columbia County. "They either love me or hate me."
For a complete list of results from the News-Times' Columbia County Community Choice poll, click here.
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