Valbuena received 47 percent of the votes to finish first among four candidates — but below the required 50 percent to avoid a runoff. He will face Collins, a corporate account manager for a national electronics retailer, who received 25 percent of the vote to finish second.
Also last week, incumbent David Austin turned back a challenge from Tony Crowe in the Paulding County Commission chairman race to win re-election. Austin received 53 percent of the vote to defeat Crowe, who received 47 percent of the vote, in the Republican primary. Austin will be unopposed in the general election.
Austin attributed his win to his administration’s work to run an “open and honest government.”
“Making announcements for new jobs had a huge part in this,” he said, in reference to such recently announced projects as the new Interroll conveyor systems facility and a new WellStar Paulding Hospital.
“I think it’s all about jobs,” he said.
Also last week:
- Dave Carmichael received 56 percent of the vote to defeat Heidi Leggett for the Paulding County Commission Post 1 seat. Carmichael will succeed Larry Ragsdale, who did not seek re-election.
- Incumbent Joe S. Watson Jr. defeated Justin Rowland for the Paulding County School Board at-large seat.
- Richard Manous was unopposed for the school board District 4 seat. He will replace Michael Skelton, who did not seek re-election.
- Incumbent school board members Theresa Lyons in District 1 and Kim Cobb in District 3 were unopposed for re-election.
- Incumbent Coroner Sam Clark defeated Jeff Eberhart; and incumbent Surveyor W.C. Rakestraw defeated Jon Tripcony.
- In State House District 17, incumbent Howard Maxwell of Dallas was unopposed for the Republican nomination. No Democrats qualified.
- Incumbent Rep. Bill Hembree of Winston was unopposed for the Republican nomination for the State House District 67 seat, which includes parts of Douglas and Paulding counties. Hembree will face Democrat Leigh McMutry of Winston in the Nov. 6 general election.
- Incumbent Stan Wise of Cobb County defeated Pam Davidson of Paulding County for a seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission. Wise has served on the PSC since 1995.
- Tom Graves of Ranger was unopposed for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s new 14th Congressional District seat. He is listed as the incumbent on the ballot.
Graves will face Daniel “Danny” Grant of Fort Oglethorpe, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination, in the Nov. 6 general election.
The district, formed in response to state population growth shown in the 2010 federal census, includes Paulding and 11 other northwest Georgia counties. Graves currently represents the 9th Congressional District in the U.S. House.
A total of 17,854 Paulding Countians, or 24 percent of registered voters, cast ballots in the primary.