One highly anticipated race was for county sheriff. Four candidates qualified on the Republican ticket seeking the opportunity to face off against incumbent Sheriff J. Kelly McLendon, who ran unopposed as a Democrat.
Johnny Moats carried a slim lead with 2,007 votes, or 36.87 percent. Mike Sullivan was close behind with 1,864 votes, or 34.25 percent. Moats and Sullivan will head into a runoff on Aug. 21.
The bottom two candidates were Michael McGee, with 968 votes, or about 17.7 percent, and Randy Stewart, with 604 votes, or about 11 percent).
There was also a four-way race among Republican candidates for Polk County Commission, District 2. A runoff is needed in this race as well, as candidate Ray Barber had just about 36.35 percent, with 1,978 votes, to take the lead. Second place is incumbent Ricky Clark, with 1,578 votes, or 29 percent.
The other candidates were Scott McCray, with 1,150 votes (21 percent) and Howard Smith, with 736 (13.5 percent).
Incumbent Republican Sheriff Clark Millsap will return to office after earning 63 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s GOP primary. There is no Democratic opposition.
In the sole County Commission race, Steve Taylor and Mike Bearden will square off in an Aug. 21 runoff.
Voters in unincorporated Bartow County also approved Sunday package sales by an 8,914 to 6,721 margin.
Gordon County voters gave Sheriff Mitch Ralston a big win Tuesday, with a 5,402 vote (72.9 percent) to 2,001 win over challenger Jim Banks, a former Calhoun police officer, in the Republican primary.
The primary win means Ralston has won his re-election bid, as there is no Democrat running for sheriff.
County Commission incumbents did not have as good a night, as both incumbents were defeated by political newcomers.
County Commission Chairperson Judy Bailey was defeated by Jeff Gazaway 3,867 (55.2 percent) to 3,065.
Norris Sexton defeated three-term commissioner Alvin Long, 3,672 (51.4 percent) to 3,466. Neither of the Republican candidates face opposition in November.
In the County Commission Post 4 race, Republicans Tom Bledsoe and Kevin Cunningham will meet in a runoff after neither received a majority in the three-way race.
In the five-man race for Chief Magistrate, incumbent John Leggett, who was appointed after the death of Magistrate Judge Marvin Broyles, was forced into an Aug. 21 runoff after receiving 2,759 votes (38.7 percent) to second place finisher Ricky Silvers’ 1,387 votes (19.5 percent). The Republican winner will face Democrat Scott Haynes in November.
There will also be a runoff for Clerk of Court, where incumbent Brian Brannon received 3,304 votes (44.9 percent) to Grant Walraven’s 2,742 (37.1 percent.) The winner of the runoff faces no opposition in November.
Three Gordon County Board of Education incumbents, Brenda Null (Post 2), Scott Williams (Post 4), and Chris Johnson (Post 6) were unopposed in the Republican primary and face no opposition in November.
Incumbent Chattooga County Sheriff John Everett appears to be headed into a runoff with Trion policeman Mark Schrader. Schrader, who worked with the sheriff’s office for more than a decade, was leading with 2,039 votes — 47.79 percent. Everett is trailing with 1,300 votes or 30.47 percent of the vote. Jerry Westbrook received 563 votes or just 13.19 percent while Floyd County police officer Jesse Adams received 365 votes for 8.55 percent.
It was a clean sweep for incumbent Republicans in Walker County after the final results were tallied late Tuesday night.
Christy Johnson Anderson received 6,538 votes for Probate Court Judge while Carter Brown got 6,580 votes. No Democrat qualified to run therefore Anderson will remain Probate Court Judge.
Sheriff Steve Wilson earned 7,719 votes to easily outdistance Billy Mullis and Freddie Roden. He will square off with Democrat Tia Westbrook in November.
Carolyn Walker overwhelmed Keith Fults, 6,784 votes to 3,709 and will remain Walker County’s Tax Commissioner since she will not have opposition in November.
W. Dewayne Wilson beat challenger Don Richie by more than 2,100 votes to keep his position as coroner, without Democratic opposition in the fall. Sheila J. Thompson defeated two Republican challengers, Bruce Coker and Michael Yates to hold on to his Chief Magistrate position. She will not face a Democrat in the fall either.
In perhaps the closest Walker County race, Bebe Heiskell narrowly beat G. Paul Shaw with a 5,326 to 5,115 vote for sole county commissioner. The veteran Heiskell will not have a Democratic challenger in November either.
A runoff election will determine the new Catoosa County sheriff after election results had Larry Black and Gary Sisk finishing with 3,808 votes and 1956 votes respectively in the Republican primary Tuesday.
There is no Democratic opposition in any of the local races.
The runoff election takes place Aug. 21.
Other races in that county yielded clear winners. Tracy Hullender Brown won the Clerk of Superior Court seat with a total of 5,142 votes while incumbent Johnny Gass won the Chief Magistrate seat with 4237 votes.
Two incumbents won their County Commissioner seats. Jeff Long took the District 1 seat with 1313 votes over Joyce Dean’s 628 votes and Jim Cutler won the District 3 seat with 1215 votes over Steven Henry’s 930.
Incumbent Melvin Edwards won the County Board of Education at large seat with 5,047 votes over Brent Williams’ 3450.