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Primary results: turnout 16 percent; Eaves, Darnell in, Pitts, Edwards out
by Noreen Cochran
May 23, 2014 06:02 PM | 2812 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fulton County Chair and District 7 candidate John Eaves squeaked by at-large Commissioner Robb Pitts in the battle to represent the Democratic Party in the November election, winning by less than seven-tenths of a percentage point in last week’s primary.

Vote counts put Eaves 376 ahead of Pitts, as of an update last Wednesday, with Eaves at 22,798, or 50.4 percent, and Pitts at 22,422, or 49.6 percent.

Results are not official until certified by the secretary of state, which is expected this week.

With turnout at about 16 percent of all 536,586 registered voters, Eaves said in a statement he was grateful for the support of more than half the 45,240 Democrats who cast ballots in 365 precincts.

“Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the thousands of Fulton County residents who supported my effort to remain your board of commission chairman. This race was hard fought with each candidate campaigning to the fullest. The outcome was a very close one, perfectly illustrating that every vote counts. I would like to thank my financial supporters who believe in my leadership and commitment and my campaign team for the hours they spent working on my behalf. I would also like to thank Commissioner Pitts for his many decades of service to the people of Atlanta and Fulton County. Now, I look forward to the race in November and hope to have your support to remain as your board of commission chairman for the next four years.”

Eaves will take on Republican challenger Earl Cooper in November.

In other results, county commission incumbents Emma Darnell and William “Bill” Edwards vied for a single District 6 seat after reapportionment made them political rivals.

Darnel took the prize in another close election, garnering 7,344 votes, or 51 percent, to Edwards’ 7,051, or 49 percent.

“I am extremely appreciative of the support and vote that I received on Tuesday,” Darnell said. “I will be working very hard to make sure that the confidence that the people of District 6 expressed by their vote will be justified by my actions on their behalf.”

She will face Republican Abraham Watson on Nov. 4.

In other races, new District 2 and 3 have clear winners in Republicans Bob Ellis and Lee Morris, respectively.

District 4 incumbent and Democrat Joan Garner will keep her seat, which is unchallenged in November, capturing 71 percent of the votes compared to challenger Eddie Lee Brewster’s 29 percent.

The new District 5 is headed to a runoff July 22, with top contenders Marvin S. Arrington Jr. at 5,713 votes, or 46 percent, and Brenda J. Muhammad at 3,889 votes, or 31 percent.

In nonpartisan races, District 6 school board incumbent Catherine Maddox won re-election against a field of two challengers.

Maddox earned 3,973 votes, or 58 percent, to DeAndre Pickett’s 2,085, or 30 percent, and Joel L. Joseph’s 816 votes, or 12 percent.

Four questions on the Democratic ballot won overwhelming support from constituents.

The straw poll, which is not binding, noted approval ratings between 87 and 97 percent for raising the $5.15 minimum wage, expanding Medicaid to pay for indigent care at hospital emergency rooms, creating an independent ethics commission and making education the priority state budget item.

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