published Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Georgia votes in primary

People gather on the courthouse lawn in Ringgold, Ga., Tuesday to keep up with election results.
People gather on the courthouse lawn in Ringgold, Ga., Tuesday to keep up with election results.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

Voters across Northwest Georgia weighed in Tuesday in their state's primary election, with Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin apparently winning a tight race against challenger Doug Woodruff and incumbent state Rep. Jay Neal defeating businessman Steve Tarvin in the new House District 2.

Catoosa County voters will head to polls again later this month to choose between former Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force commander Larry Black and now-Chief Deputy Gary Sisk who are in a runoff for sheriff.

In Walker County, Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell barely beat back a challenge from Paul Shaw, and longtime Sheriff Steve Wilson cruised to a GOP primary victory over two opponents. He will face Democrat Tim Westbrook in November.

In Dade County, Sheriff Patrick Cannon is headed to a runoff with challenger Ray Cross, most voters answered "yes" to a straw poll question on whether tax money should be set aside to fund the public library and runoffs are coming for two school board seats and the Superior Court clerk's job.

Whitfield County voters on Tuesday approved a 1 percent sales tax increase for county and city schools projects, County Commission Chairman Mike Babb squeaked by challenger Ronald Ownby, incumbent Commissioner Greg Jones lost to Lynn Laughter and Sunday alcohol sales were approved in Varnell.

Statewide, Republican voters backed a nonbinding proposal to limit lobbyist spending on lawmakers to $100. The transportation sales tax increase lost across most of the state.

The state's runoff election date is Aug. 21, with the general election on Nov. 6.

All results in Tuesday's election are unofficial until approved by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

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