Spalding County Board of Commissioners member Eddie Freeman received 740 votes Tuesday in the Republican primary for District 4, while challengers Ed Brown and Chris Carroll received 428 and 324, respectively. Freeman did not have sufficient votes to win outright.
Democratic sheriff candidates Wendell Beam and Jesse Maddox Jr. will face off on Aug. 5, as will Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Vernon Jones and Jim Martin. Beam received 984 votes, while Maddox received 544 and Franklin Allen received 451. Jones won 883 votes in Spalding County, compared to 501 for Martin.
Other races were more decisive. District Attorney Scott Ballard defeated challenger Rudjard Hayes, while incumbent John Yates defeated challenger Rick Williams in the Georgia House of Representatives District 73 Republican primary. State Sen. John Douglas, R-Social Circle, defeated Mike D. Crotts in the Republican primary for state Senate District 17, while incumbent Republican Sheriff Dee Stewart defeated challengers Tim Perez and Keith Duncan. Incumbent District 3 Spalding County Commissioner Johnie McDaniel secured the Republican nomination after Tony Head withdrew from the race. Incumbent Republican Public Service Commissioner H. Doug Everett defeated challenger Rick Collum, while Lauren W. McDonald Jr. defeated Pam Davidson for the Republican nomination for the other Public Service Commission seat. McDonald will face Democrat Jim Powell, who decisively defeated Bob Indech.
Spalding County Election Supervisor Terry Colling said the turnout in the county was 22 percent.
“(Tuesday) was a disappointing turnout as far as I was concerned,” she said.
The turnout was a slight improvement over the 20 percent participation in the July 2006 primary but fell well short of the 34 percent participation in the July 2004 primary.
Colling also discussed provisional ballots.
“It’s a federal law that allows certain voters under certain circumstances to cast a paper ballot on Election Day,” she said.
She went on to say that most provisional ballots are cast by people who believe they are registered to vote but cannot be found in the voter registry when they come to vote. The provisional voting system allows them to vote and the county will then do the necessary research to see if the voters are qualified.
“There were only five or six provisionals,” Colling said.
The ballots will be processed today and the deadline is 5 p.m.
Colling then explained who can vote in the runoff.
“Only District Four can vote Republican,” she said. “That’s the only runoff Republican ballot we will have in this county.”
She said those who voted in a primary Tuesday can only vote in that particular party’s runoff election, although those who did not vote Tuesday can vote in either one. The deadline to register to participate in the runoff was June 16.
Poll hours on Aug. 5 will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.