In the race for the County Commission Chair, Chris Dockery garnered 2,972 votes, 60.6 percent, to Guy Laboa's 1,932 votes.
"First, I want to thank everyone who supported my campaign. I'm honored that the citizens trust me to be their chairman for the next four years," Dockery said. "And I'm excited and looking forward to the challenges. I look forward to working with the city and putting the focus on economic development and job creation."
With the election behind him, Dockery added, he thinks it is "... important to pull together as a community and focus on the future.
Laboa said that although he lost the election, he plans to continue to be involved.
"I won't back out of what is happening in Lumpkin County. It's too important," he said. "But Lumpkin County has spoken and I wish Chris Dockery all the best." Before deciding what new role he will play in that future, however, he said he plans "to put my life back in motion. It's been on hold for six months. And I'll be going on vacation in a couple of weeks. I promised Pat [his wife] that win or lose, we would take a vacation."
In the District 1 race, new comer Doug Sherrill upset incumbent Bill Scott by a vote of 2,599 to 2,249.
Sherrill said he was "... relieved it's over. Bill ran a solid campaign, and I commend his service on behalf of the community."
Sherrill attributed his win to successfully getting his message out to the public. "I my message resonated with the public. I think people were ready for a change. I think they want to see cuts in spending and administration held more accountable. I will work my best to serve the county, and I thank all my supporters."
Scott wasn't at the old courthouse last night to hear the results. He was out picking up his election signs.
"I had someone call me to let me know when the results started coming in,:" he said.
When he learned he was down by 10 percent he decided to "just keep picking up signs. It didn't turn out like I'd have liked, but I wish my opponent all the best in the world. And if there is every anything I can do to help him, my door is always open. I know he will do a fine job in leading Lumpkin County forward."
In the District 2 race, no one got enough votes to be declared the winner. Although incumbent Tim Bowden received the most votes–1,830–it was not enough to avoid a runoff. Who will be in the Aug. 21 runoff, however, was too close to call until provisional ballots and those of military personnel stationed overseas are counted Friday. Steve Shaw received 1,480 votes to Carlton Smith's 1,468, 38.3, 30.98 and 30.72 percent respectively. In order to be declared the winner, a candidate must receive 51 percent of the vote.
"I'm happy with the outcome," Shaw said. "It was a good race."
If he is one of the candidates in the runoff, he said, he plants to "... just continue letting the people know that I stand for their right to vote and that I will not vote for any new taxes. I live in the county. Why would I vote myself a tax increase?"
Smith said he is waiting to see who will be in the runoff.
"i want to thank the citizens for coming out to vote and for their support. Regardless of who is chosen, I want to thank them for their participation."
Bowden said he is heartened by the results. He will be one of the two candidates who will be on the runoff ballot.
"I am honored by the votes I received and I am going to work hard for the next three weeks and try to win this thing," he said. "I feel rejuvenated."
There will also be a runoff in the Chief Magistrate race. In a four-way race between Andrea Conarro, Joy Edelberg, Kathi Haney and Randy Pruitt, Edelberg received 26.54 (1,428) percent of the vote to Pruitt's 43.62 percent (2,347). Conarro got 23.7 percent (1,276), leaving Haney with 6 percent, 325 votes.
Pruitt said he was "humbled" by the community's support. "I know it sounds corny but I really mean it. I appreciate all the prayers and support. I love serving this community. I've been doing that since I was 17 years old, and if folks go back and help me again in three weeks, I will get doing it."
Edelberg said she anticipated a runoff. During the next three weeks before the runoff she said she plans to "work hard to try to reach the voters."
Incumbent Susan Sockwell will serve another term as the representative of District 1 on the Lumpkin County School Board. She garnered 2,917 votes, 55.6 percent, to challenger Christopher Bearden's 2,314 votes.
A whopping 73.2 percent of Lumpkin County voters said no to the T_SPLOST (Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax) referendum. T-SPLOST was also turned down in the Georgia Mountains Region as a whole by an even larger margin–74.97 percent. Statewide, the initiative failed in 9 out of 12 districts set up by the state.
Kevin Tanner, former Dawson County Manager, will be the new 9th District Representative to the Georgia General Assembly come January. Tanner bested his opponent, Clint Smith, 6,230 votes to 3,068.
In the race for the U.S. Congress, Doug Collins and Martha Zoller came in at nearly a dead heat. Collins received 41.8 to Zoller's 41.14 percent of the vote, while Roger Fitzpatrick got 17 percent of ballots cast. Collins and Zoller will have to continue campaigning until the runoff Aug. 21
(Statewide results are based on 151 counties fully reporting and eight counties reporting partially. In addition, provisional and military ballots will be added in on Friday.)
Here's an overview of the results:
County Commission Chairman
Chris Dockery - 2,972
Guy LaBoa - 1,732
County Commission District 1
Bill Scott - 2,249
Doug Sherrill - 2,599
County Commission District 2
Tim Bowden - 1,830
Carlton Smith - 1,468
Steve Shaw - 1,480
School Board District 1
Christopher Bearden - 2,314
Susan Sockwell - 2,917
Andrea Conarro - 1,278
Joy Edelberg - 1,428
Kathi Haney - 325
Randy Pruitt - 2,347
Ronald Fortner - 2,693
Amanda Jones - 2,058
John Gaston - 3,367
John Lingle - 1,078
Lumpkin County T-SPLOST
Yes - 1,501
No - 4,104
All results are unofficial until certified by the Lumpkin County election commission.