Columbia County Board of Elections officials recorded a turnout of about 23 percent for Tuesday's primary election. On their ballots, many voters selected candidates in six contested area races. Many other candidates faced no opposition.
Most of the races were on the Republican ballot. No county Democrats chose to run for any area races.
10th U.S. District Congressional race
Incumbent Paul Broun, R-Watkinsville, defeated state Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem. In his home county, and every other county in the district, Fleming failed to defeat Broun, who won 71 percent of the more than 63,000 Republican ballots cast.
In Columbia County, Broun took 7,626 votes to Fleming's 5,518 for a winning percentage of 58.02.
Broun now faces Democratic challenger Bobby Saxon in the November general election.
Georgia House District 117
Former Columbia County Commissioner Lee Anderson defeated retired businessman Brett McGuire in the nonpartisan special election to replace Fleming as the representative for District 117.
Anderson, a farmer, took 3,625 votes, 69.87 percent, to McGuire's 1,563.
Georgia House District 118
Republican incumbent Ben Harbin easily defeated challenger Lee Benedict to retain District 118.
Though criticized for a crash in Atlanta last year in which he was charged with drunken driving, and for repeated delays in the court case to adjudicate the matter, Harbin won 4,472 votes, 69.2 percent, to Benedict's 1,990.
Columbia County Commission District 3
Making promises to freeze property taxes, Charles Allen beat Deanne Hall to replace retiring Commissioner Diane Ford. Allen, husband of Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen and a former county commissioner, won 68 percent of voters, a total of 2,804 votes, to Hall's 32 percent, which translates to 1,318 votes.
Columbia County Commission District 4
With a large margin of victory, former Harlem Mayor Scott Dean defeated David Payne in the non-partisan special election to fill the commission District 4 seat. It is the seat Anderson gave up in April to run for the state Legislature.
Dean won 2,293 of 3,240 votes cast, for 70.77 percent of total votes, in the nonpartisan race. Payne received 929 votes, 28.68 percent, and 18 votes were cast for write-in candidates. District 4 comprises the largest territory of Columbia County and encompasses both cities, Harlem and Grovetown.
Grovetown City Council
Grovetown voters elected Barry Davis over Theo Knight in the special election to replace former Councilman David Daughtry, who died in February from diabetes complications. Davis took 83.13 percent of the votes, 537 in all, for the largest margin of victory in the county for a contested race. Knight took 103 votes, 15.97 percent, and five ballots were cast for write-in candidates.
Winners of uncontested races in Columbia County include state Sen. Bill Jackson, state Rep. Barbara Sims, District 2 Commission candidate Trey Allen, Probate Judge Pat Hardaway, Chief Magistrate Wade Padgett, Sheriff Clay Whittle, Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, Clerk of Superior Court Cindy Mason, and Coroner Vernon Collins.
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