Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

August 1, 2012

River Valley Region approves TSPLOST

Incumbent coroner retains office in Sumter

AMERICUS — The River Valley Region, composed of 16 counties including Sumter, Schley, Webster and Macon in the Times-Recorder’s coverage area, approved the TSPLOST in Tuesday’s Primary Election, This is a special local one-cent sales tax to be used specifically for transportation projects.

Region-wide in the River Valley Region, there were 2,218 yes votes to 1,847 no votes. Sumter County voters approved the TSPLOST 2,118 yes votes to 1,847 no. Macon County voters also approved the TSPLOST with 1,711 yes votes to 630 no. Webster voters passed the TSPLOST with 503 yes votes to 299 no. Voters in Schley County narrowly defeated the TSPLOST with 361 yes votes to 367 no. Because the measure passed in the River Valley Region, the one-cent sales tax will be instituted starting Jan. 1 in all 16 of the counties in the River Valley Region.

Angela Westra, president of the Americus-Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon.

“Passage of the Transportation Referendum was a giant leap toward creating jobs and economic opportunity in our area. With the projects slated for Sumter County, a Crisp County project which also benefits Sumter County, and the anticipated discretionary funds exceeding a million for our municipalities and unincorporated areas, the future looks quite a bit brighter today and the Chamber appreciates all who got out and voted.”

Voter turnout in Sumter County for Tuesday’s Primary Election was 27.04 percent as compared to 31 percent statewide.

“I am very pleased about this,” said Robert Brady, the new elections supervisor for Sumter County.

Of the 15,437 registered voters in Sumter, there were 4,174 ballots cast Tuesday.

Incumbent Sumter County Coroner Greg Hancock will keep his position as he received 1,655 votes to contender Bobby Harris' 589.

In the two races for seats on the Sumter County Board of Commissioners, the field was narrowed for the General Election in November.

In District 1, Democrat Clay Jones had 444 votes over Fred McLaughlin’s 43. Jones faces a Republican contender, Harvey Claiborne in November.

In District 6, incumbent Andrea Brooks defeated Larry Odum 417 to 86 and faces opposition from Republican Carey Harbuck in November.

In the Republican race for U.S. Representative, District 2, Sumter voters chose John House with 913 votes over 352 for Rick Allen and 322 for Ken DeLoach. House and Allen will be in a runoff on Aug. 12. The winner of that election faces incumbent Sanford Bishop in November.

Schley voters picked incumbent David Byrd Sr. as at-large member of the Schley County Board of Education with 287 votes over Walt Vasil’s 170 votes. Democrat Byrd faces Republican Tommy Pilcher in the November election.

In the District 3 contest for the Schley County Board of Education, incumbent Maria Cloer will keep her seat after garnishing 49 votes to Bill Ewing's 38.

Schley voters also chose House with 100 votes over Allen’s 68 and DeLoach’s 59.

Schley turnout was 32 percent with 752 of the 2,349 registered voters casting a ballot.

In neighboring Webster County, voters re-elected Probate Judge Jimmy Bankston who defeated Julianna E. James 442 to 360.

Incumbent Tax Commissioner Lou Heath was returned to office with 564 votes to Jacky E. Smith’s 261.

In the race for an at-large seat on the Webster County Board of Education, incumbent Linda K. Rogers received 363 votes to Bonita A. Hightower’s 301 and Jack Rowland’s 195. There will be a runoff election on Aug. 21 between Rogers and Hightower.

Overall, Webster had a 61.7 percent turnout with 847 ballots cast out of a field of 1,146 registered voters.

In Macon County, almost 55 percent of the 5,062 registered voters cast a ballot in the Primary Election.

In the contest for Probate Judge, incumbent Mack S. McCarty took 65.90 percent of the votes with 1,697 to Dennis Johnson’s 414 and Scotty Layfield’s 464.

In the sheriff’s race, incumbent Charles M. Cannon overwhelmingly defeated two contenders. Cannon received 1,787 votes to Grover M. Barfield’s 545 and Matthew Woodard’s 311.

Brenda P. Oglesby received 1,556 votes to Gary Hobbs’ 804 for Macon County coroner.

In races for the Macon County Board of Commissioners, Ben Haugabook took 289 votes to Mark H. Poole’s 216 for the District 2 seat.

Meanwhile, in District 4, incumbent Mickey George got 366 votes to Jerry Harris’ 320.

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