published Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Dade County GOP picks Ray Cross for sheriff’s race

  • photo
    Ray Cross defeated incumbent Patrick Cannon in the GOP primary runoff for Dade County sheriff.
    Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Tuesday’s runoff elections generated high turnout in Dade County, Ga., where voters settled Republican primary battles in five local races.

In the runoff race for the GOP slot for sheriff in November, Ray Cross defeated incumbent Patrick Cannon. Cross defeated Cannon with 55.7 percent of the final vote, according to election figures.

“We worked real hard at it. We started this thing back in January. We worked every day to win and today was payday,” Cross, 52, said late Tuesday after the polls closed.

“I just want to thank God for the opportunity to do this and I want to thank my family, supporters and committee members for all their support,” he said. “We’re looking ahead to the next race and hopefully we’ll have a new sheriff in January.”

Cross now will face Democrat Philip Street, the former longtime sheriff who ran the office from 1984 until 2004 when Cannon defeated him.

In the July 31 five-way GOP primary, Cross led Cannon by almost 10 percent — about 320 votes.

There also were four other local Republican runoff battles in Dade County.

Kerri Bray Carter won the nonpartisan runoff for judge of probate court over David Duvall Jr. with 59.12 percent of the vote. In July, Carter and Duvall were separated by a little under 350 votes in Carter’s favor but it was not enough to avoid Tuesday’s runoff.

Incumbent Kathy Page defeated Carolyn Lane for the Republican ballot slot for clerk of superior court with 51.07 percent of the vote. The majority of voters in July primaries favored Page but she managed only 49 percent of the vote, setting the stage for this week’s runoff. There are no Democrats running for the seat in November.

In two runoffs for two Republican school board ballot slots, John Warren defeated incumbent Ronnie Page for Board of Education District 3 with 58.76 percent of the vote. Page and Warren were separated by less than 200 votes in the July primary.

In the District 5 school board runoff, incumbent David Powell beat Careyee Bell for the GOP slot in November with 54.93 percent of the vote. Powell led Bell in the July primary, 42.5 percent to about 34.5 percent.

There are no Democratic candidates for either school board seat in November.

All vote totals, which include federally mandated provisional ballots, are unofficial until certified by the Georgia secretary of state.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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