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Carruth, Heath in runoff for Senate seat; Austin turns back challenge from Crowe for chairman
by Tom Spigolon and Savannah Weeks
paulding@neighbornewspapers.com
July 31, 2012 09:52 AM | 4143 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Doris and Fred J. Durham of Dallas were first to cast their votes on the second day of early voting recently in Paulding County.

 
From left, Doris and Fred J. Durham of Dallas were first to cast their votes on the second day of early voting recently in Paulding County.  
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Incumbent David Austin turned back a challenge from Tony Crowe in the commission chairman race in unofficial results from Tuesday's primary election.

Austin received 53 percent of the vote to defeat Crowe, who received 47 percent of the vote.

In state races, incumbent District 31 State Sen. Bill Heath of Bremen and Bill Carruth of Dallas will face each other in an Aug. 21 runoff after neither received a majority of votes in Tuesday's Republican primary.

Heath received 45 percent and Carruth received 41 percent to finish in the top two places. J.K. Rogers of Dallas received 14 percent.

More than 50.0 percent of votes are needed to win outright.

Meanwhile, former state representative Bob Snelling and Douglas County School Board member Mike Miller apparently will square off in an Aug. 21 runoff for the Republican nomination for the House District 66 seat.

Snelling received 49.63 percent of the vote in the race, according to information from the Georgia Secretary of State. Miller received 27.17 percent to finish second and qualify for the runoff. District 66 includes parts of Douglas and Paulding counties.

The winner will face Democrat Kimberly Alexander of Dallas in the Nov. 6 general election. Alexander was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Former Douglasville mayor Mickey Thompson received 23.2 percent to finish third.

Incumbent District 19 State Rep. Paulette Braddock of Hiram easily won re-election in defeating Michael Ray James and Melissa Morrison. Braddock received 63 percent of the vote in defeating Morrison, who received 19 percent, and James, who received 18 percent.

No Democrats qualified for the seat, making Braddock the de facto winner.

Incumbent Bill Hembree was unopposed for the Republican nomination for the House District 67 seat, which includes parts of Douglas and Paulding counties. He will face Democrat Leigh McMutry in the Nov. 6 general election.

Incumbent Howard Maxwell of Dallas was unopposed for the Republican nomination for the District 17 seat. No Democrats qualified.

In county races, Dave Carmichael received 56 percent of the vote to defeat Heidi Leggett for Paulding County Commission Post 1.

Also, incumbent Joe S. Watson Jr. defeated Justin Rowland for the county school board at-large seat; incumbent coroner Sam Clark defeated Jeff Eberhart; and incumbent Surveyor W.C. Rakestraw defeated Jon Tripcony.

A total of 17,854 Paulding Countians, or 24 percent of registered voters, cast ballots in the primary.

As of Tuesday at 5 p.m., 7,641 Paulding residents had showed up at the polls to cast their votes, said elections specialist Cassidy Jackson.

“It’s just been kind of smooth,” she said.

Jackson said the numbers were not quite as good as they were hoping for, but each election was so different in terms of turnout that it was hard to predict accurately.

“It’s good; it’s not awesome, but it’s good,” she said.

The total was more than double the lunchtime total of 3,530 Paulding residents who had cast their votes by noon, according to Jackson.

Lunchtime voters said all was running smoothly at the Hiram High School polling location.

Eric Wilson, who voted around 12:30 p.m. at Hiram High, said he had no problems voting and expected a fairly low turnout at the polls today.

“I haven’t seen as much campaigning as normal, but nobody has the money they had five or six years ago,” Wilson said.

He also said he did not expect the T-SPLOST to pass.

Three hours earlier, the count was 1,414 Paulding County residents who had gone out to the polls to vote in one of the most closely watched primary elections in recent years.

Assistant Supervisor of the Paulding County Board of Elections Georgia Penegar said that 813 people had voted by 8 a.m., with a 601 voter increase in an hour.



Live election results will be posted via our twitter account @NeighborNews.
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