published Monday, August 13th, 2012

Georgia counties gear up for runoffs

IF YOU GO

What: State House District 1 runoff debate

Who: Alan Painter and John Deffenbaugh

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Rossville Civic Center, 400 McFarland Road.

How much: Free and open to the public

Walker County election officials almost were able to look forward to a normal workday Aug. 21, the date of Georgia's runoff election.

But they'll have to work late that night because the July 31 primary election had one race that wasn't decided: the Republican contest for Georgia House of Representatives District 1 between the top two vote-getters, Alan Painter and John Deffenbaugh.

"We thought we were out of it," Elections Supervisor Barbara Berry said. But Deffenbaugh's 2,501 votes weren't enough to knock off Painter, who trailed with 2,398.

So elections workers — in Walker County and elsewhere in Northwest Georgia — are gearing up for the runoff.

"It'll be quicker than a normal election," said Tonya Moore, the elections official in Catoosa County. "The voting will go quicker because there's one race and two names."

Catoosa's only contest is the Republican race for sheriff between Larry Black, who had 3,808 primary votes, and Gary Sisk, who came in second with 1,956 votes.

In other Northwest Georgia run-off elections:

• Chattooga County: Incumbent Democratic Sheriff John Everett, who got 1,300 votes, will face Democratic challenger Mark Schrader, who received 2,039 votes.

• Dade County: Six races will be on runoff ballots: Judge of Probate Court nonpartisan candidates Kerri Carter and David Duvall Jr.; Republican sheriff candidates Patrick Cannon and Ray Cross; Republican Clerk of Superior Court candidates Carolyn Lane and Kathy Page; Republican District 3 Board of Education candidates Ronnie Page and John Warren; Republican District 5 Board of Education candidates Careyee Bell and David Powell; and Georgia House of Representatives District 1 Republicans Alan Painter and John Deffenbaugh.

• Walker County: Ballots will go to Republican and nonpartisan voters in precincts that belong to Georgia House of Representatives District 1, including all or portions of Center Post, Lookut Mountain, Chattanooga Valley, Fairyland, Fairview and Rossville.

• Whitfield County: Republican race for Clerk of Superior Court: Melica Kendrick and Susan Miller; nonpartisan race for Magistrate: Kay Cope vs. Jerry Leonard.

Early voting starts today and runs through Friday in every county except Dade, which hadn't received its ballots Friday. Dade officials hoped to start early voting on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Hours for early voting vary by county. On election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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