Incumbent John Carter and Chuck Moseley are already thinking about the Aug. 11 runoff for the Republican nomination for Wayne County sheriff.
Carter, with 2,220 votes, and Moseley, with 1,333 votes, knocked fellow GOP candidates Toby Cameron, with 1,135 votes, and Paul Drawdy, with 1,011 votes, out of the running in the Georgia General Primary Tuesday.
The runoff winner will advance to the Nov. 3 General Election and face Democrat Kevin Johnson, who faced no opposition in his primary.
“It feels real good, but we got another leg to go,” Carter said of his primary success Wednesday morning.
Carter attributed his success in this first round to his experience in law enforcement and the fact that his entire career has been spent in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. He thanked people for their support not only in the primary but throughout his 16 years as sheriff.
Looking ahead, he said of himself and Moseley, “We both need to get the voters back,” and he encouraged people “to just let their voice be heard.”
Noting that his campaigning is limited by both his current duties and the COVID-19 pandemic, he still pledged to see as many voters as he can.
In his reaction to reaching the runoff, Moseley said, “It feels wonderful. I’m humbled.”
While he also acknowledged his law-enforcement experience, he attributed most of his success to the “good people talking” on his behalf.
He also said he will be working voters back out to the polls for the runoff. He said he will continue to focus on the drug problem, city-county relations, school safety and budget concerns.
Turnout and challenges
Wayne’s voter turnout in the General Primary and Nonpartisan General Election was 41 percent (6,876 ballots cast out of 16,787 registered voters) and included heavy absentee voting, as well as early in-person voting.
For example, of the 6,502 votes cast for sheriff in both primaries, 2,576 were by absentee ballot—more than either the 2,008 votes cast at the polls Tuesday or the 1,918 cast during in-person early voting.
The election took place against the backdrop not only of pandemic precautions but also the introduction of new voting equipment. Problems in other places, primarily some metro Atlanta counties, received national publicity.
In Wayne County, though, vote totals were released shortly after 8:30 p.m.
Probate Judge Tammy Thornton said Tuesday night, “Overall, I think things have gone very well. Of course, you’re always going to have an issue here and there.”
She commended her poll workers for their performance Tuesday.
In primary voting for Georgia’s First Congressional District seat, incumbent Buddy Carter was handily winning the Republican nomination as of midmorning Wednesday. With 79 percent of precincts reporting, Carter had 80.7 percent of the vote, compared to 16.6 percent for Danny Merritt and 2.6 percent for Ken Yasger. In Wayne, Carter received 4,759 votes, in comparison with Merritt’s 693 votes and Yasger’s 50 votes.
On the Democratic side, Joyce Marie Griggs and Lisa Ring appeared headed for a runoff. Griggs had received 46.1 percent of the recorded vote Wednesday morning, compared to Ring’s 42 percent and Barbara Seidman’s 11.9 percent. In Wayne, Ring received the most votes, 505, in comparison with Griggs’ 317 votes and Seidman’s 144 votes.
In the race for the Democratic nomination for David Perdue’s U.S. Senate seat, Jon Ossoff was declared the winner Wednesday night with 51 percent of the vote. The race was a nailbiter; with 93 percent of the precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Ossoff was still short of a majority with only 48.6 percent of the vote and seemed to be headed for a runoff with either Teresa Tomlinson or Sarah Riggs Amico. In the end, Tomlinson finished second with 13.2 percent of the vote, and Amico finished third with 12 percent.
In Wayne, Ossoff had slightly less than half of the votes (443 out of 990); Amico was second with 155 and Tomlinson third with 125. Of the seven candidates in the race, they were the only three in triple digits here.
In the race for the Democratic nomination for Lauren “Bubba” McDonald’s District 4 seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission, Daniel Blackman had 72 percent of the vote (with 90 percent of precincts reporting), decisively winning over John Noel. Wayne voters also favored Blackman over Noel, 596-314.
Incumbents were victorious in Georgia Supreme Court races. Charlie Bethel had 53 percent of the statewide vote (with 91 percent of the precincts) to defeat Beth Beskin, and Sarah Hawkisn Warren had 78 percent of the vote to defeat Hal Moroz. In Wayne, Bethel outpolled Beskin 4,037-1,948, and Warren outpolled Moroz 4,855-1,095.
Joe Biden, the only candidate still actively seeking the Democratic nomination for president, overwhelmingly won the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary statewide and in Wayne. On the
Republican side, incumbent Donald Trump had no opposition on the ballot.
Other candidates on the ballot here Tuesday were running without opposition.
(The final results of the race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate were reported by Dave Williams of Capitol Beat News Service. All of the other preceding statewide results are based on reporting by the Associated Press. As of Friday morning, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office had not posted results on its website.)