Paulette Rakestraw Braddock defeated incumbent Daniel Stout to be the Republican candidate for Georgia House District 19 and will face Democrat Will Avery Nov. 2. The other three local winners have no Democratic opposition and will take oaths of office in January.
Rakestraw edged Stout, who won a special election in February and is the District 19 representative this year, by 47 votes, 2,716 (50.44 percent) to 2,669. Stout had the most votes in the three-person primary with 38.86 percent to Braddock’s 31.24 percent.
Dick Donovan defeated incumbent District Attorney Drew Lane with 5,823 votes (55.92 percent) to Lane’s 4,590. Donavan led the three-man primary with 40.78 percent to Lane’s 36.1 percent.
Todd Pownall took the Post 2 Board of Commissioners seat with less than a 100-vote margin over Beverly Cochran. Pownall garnered 1,145 votes (52.21 percent) to Cochran’s 1,048 in the first political race for both candidates. Cochran had led primary balloting in the three-person race with 1,038 votes (45.15 percent) to Pownall’s 989 (43.02 percent).
The Post 4 Board of Commissioners race was even closer. David Barnett slipped past Tony Crowe by 80 votes, taking 1,983 ballots (51.03 percent) to Crowe’s 1,903. Barnett had led the four-man primary race with 38.07 percent to Crowe’s 33.88 percent
The race for the GOP nomination for governor was still closer in Paulding, with Karen Handel edging Nathan Deal by only five votes, 5,409 (50.02 percent) to 5,404. With 12 of Paulding’s 14 precincts reporting earlier, the two were tied.
With 99 percent of Georgia precincts reporting at press time, the GOP gubernatorial race was too close to call, with Deal leading by 3,430 votes. An unknown number of provisional ballots, as well as overseas and military ballots, had not been counted. State law allows the runner-up to request a recount if the margin is less than 1 percent.
Former Cobb County Board of Commissioners Chairman Sam Olens easily led Preston Smith in neighboring Paulding, taking 6,662 votes (68.72 percent) to Smith’s 3,032 in the GOP race for attorney general. With 99 percent of the state precincts reporting, Olens had 59 percent and will be the GOP candidate.
In other GOP runoffs with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Ralph Hudgens was defeating Maria Sheffield with 55 percent to 45 percent in the race for insurance commissioner, and Tim Echols was ahead of John Douglas for Public Service Commission District 2 with 52 percent to 48 percent. Paulding reflected Hudgens’ margin with 5,302 votes (54.98 percent) to Sheffield’s 4,342, and Echols had an even larger lead in Paulding with 5,202 votes (57.4 percent) to Douglas’ 3,861.
In the only statewide Democratic runoff, Georganna Sinkfield easily defeated Gail Buckner in the race to be the candidate for secretary of state. With 99 percent of precinct numbers in, Sinkfield had 62 percent to Buckner’s 38 percent. The race was closer in Paulding, with Sinkfield taking 257 votes (52.24 percent) to Buckner’s 235.
Paulding had 10 provisional ballots, too few to influence any race if they were accepted.
Paulding Supervisor of Elections and Registration Deidre Holden had hoped for a 13 percent turnout in the runoffs and was happy that 16.05 percent (11,402) of the county’s 71,055 registered voters cast ballots.
“We were very pleased with the turnout,” Holden said. “It’s great that the voters went out and voted.”
The county had received bar code scanners to scan drivers licenses between the primaries and the runoffs, “and that made things quicker,” she said. “It was a perfect election.”