J. Wade Padgett amassed enough votes in Tuesday's primary to step up to the Columbia County Chief Magistrate position left open by the retirement of David Huguenin.
With 44 of 45 precincts reporting, Mr. Padgett, a 10-year associate magistrate and local attorney, surpassed his two challengers, attorney Richard Ingram and insurance agency owner Hal Morris, with 65 percent of the votes
"Experience was the biggest difference," Mr. Padgett said. "I am honored, humbled and flattered that the voters have given me this opportunity."
Mr. Padgett, 39, who held on to an early lead, received 13,032 votes, while Mr. Ingram, 44, garnered 5,371 votes, or 27 percent. Mr. Morris, 65, had 1,561 votes, or 8 percent.
"I am happy that this was an issue-based campaign and that it was run hard by people who cared about all three candidates," Mr. Padgett said.
Reach Valerie Rowell at 868-1222, ext. 110 or email@example.com.
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