2018-11-07 / Front Page

Close races for state offices


Burke County voters aligned with the state of Georgia on Election Day, favoring Republicans in most races.

In the race for House District 126, incumbent Democrat Gloria Frazier barely beat out her challenger William Harris, garnering 4,296 (50.50 percent) of local votes compared to Harris’ 4,211. John Barrow is the only other Democrat who won the support of the county. In the race for Secretary of State, he had 4,685 votes, while Republican Brad Raffensperger had 3,880 and Libertarian Smythe Duval had 74. On the state level, Frazier again appeared victorious, but this time by a much larger scale: she tallied 68.74 percent of the vote while Harris had 31.26. Barrow’s numbers, however, were lower with Georgians, and he had earned 45.67 percent compared to Raffensperger’s 52.17 at press time. (State figures are based on 80 percent of Georgia precincts reporting at 11 p.m.)

Locally, 143 votes separated Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams in the bid for governor. Kemp had 50.58 percent with 4,410 votes, while Abrams’ 4,267 votes garnered 48.94 percent. Ted Metz, a Libertarian, had 42 votes. Statewide, Kemp had 53.47 percent of votes while Abrams had 45.58 at press time.

Republican Geoff Duncan took Burke County with 4,267 votes compared to Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico, who had 3,969 votes, in the race for lieutenant governor. Incum- bent Republican Rick Allen (District 12) pulled 4,492 votes in Burke County, and his challenger, Democrat Francys Johnson, had 4,112. On the state level, Duncan led with 54.88 percent of the vote, and again Allen was on top with 60.30 percent.

Local numbers for other races included:

Attorney General – Republican incumbent Chris Carr, 4,273 votes, and Democrat Charlie Bailey, 4,233; Commissioner of Agriculture – Republican incumbent Gary Black, 4,380, and Democrat Fred Swann, 4,068; Commissioner of Insurance – Republican Jim Beck 4,302, Democrat Janice Laws, 4,094, and Libertarian Donnie Foster, 117; State School Superintendent – Republican incumbent Richard Woods, 4,410, and Democrat Otha E. Thornton Jr., 4,124; Commissioner of Labor – Republican incumbent Mark Butler, 4,370, and Democrat Richard Keatley, 4,134; Public Service Commission, District 3 – Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton, 4,242, Democrat Lindy Miller, 4,129, and Libertarian Ryan Graham, 157; and Public Service Commission, District 5 – Republican Tricia Pridemore, 4,252, Democrat Dawn Randolph, 4,131, and Libertarian John Turpish, 122.

While the Republican nominees for these races were also in the lead at press time, many of the votes were too close to call. (Full results are available at www.sos.ga.gov.)

Sixty-eight percent of Burke Countians voted “yes” to the Freeport exemption. Local voters agreed with the state by voting “yes” to all five constitutional amendments as well as “yes” to both referendums appearing on the ballot. Of the county’s 14,449 registered voters, 60.60 percent showed up at the polls. According to Laverne Sello, who serves as the executive director for the Burke County Board of Elections, 3,212 ballots were cast early, with 463 voters showing up on the last day of advanced voting. A total of 968 ballots were also received by mail. The state of Georgia set a record for early voting in a mid-term election, with 2,071,830 Georgians casting early votes through Nov. 2. The previous record was 945,507.

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