Last week’s primary election resulted in a few local seats being decided in Greene County.
This year’s primary concluded last Tuesday, June 9, following delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Greene County voters turned out in large numbers – driven mostly by a surge in absentee ballots – to cast their votes.
Clerk of superior court Deborah D. Jackson, an incumbent, ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket. Jackson officially won with 100 percent of the votes, receiving 1,831 total votes.
Current sheriff Donnie Harrison, a Republican, went unopposed, too, and received 100 percent of 3,210 votes.
Tax commissioner Candace T. Lawson was again on the Republican ballot. Lawson won 100 percent of 3,199 votes.
Incumbent coroner Jeff Smith won 100 percent of 3,138 votes because he was also unopposed.
The same went for Greene County Board of Commissioners chairman Gary Usry, who got 3,138 votes. District 2 commissioner Jeffery Smith ran unopposed, too, and won with 633 votes. District 4 commissioner Ernie Filice went unopposed as well. Filice received 100 percent of 1,756 votes.
The candidates for Greene County Board of Education chairperson were officially decided. On the Republican side, current chairman Mike Lynch received 100 percent of 2,999 votes. Democrat Kim Smith carried 100 percent of 1,690 votes.
Lynch and Smith will run head-to-head for the BOE chair in the Nov. 3 general election.
In other board of education results, incumbent District 2 member Joe Bashore won 100 percent of 630 votes. Bashore will oppose Brandi Spann Mayo during the Nov. 3 general election to decide the winner of the district.
BOE District 4 was decided last week. Perry Lee defeated Sandra Shurling, both Republicans, by winning 79.83 percent of the votes for the district. Lee received 1,437 votes and Shurling received 363 votes (20.17 percent).
With his victory, Lee replaces outgoing District 4 BOE member John Heinen. Heinen announced he would not seek reelection so that he can spend more time with his family.
“Thank you for your time, for your effort, for your financial contributions,” Lee told his supporters in a Facebook video posted after the election. “And now, the real work begins. Together, we can make that sure every child in Greene County gets an amazing education.”
And in perhaps the county’s most publicized race, incumbent probate judge LaVerne Ogletree won another term. Ogletree was initially opposed by Stephen Eagleton but Eagleton was disqualified by the Greene County Board of Elections and Registration due to uncertainty regarding his residency.
Ogletree won the seat by receiving 4,217 votes.
In the district attorney race, T. Wright Barksdale won 86.46 percent of the votes in Greene County. His opposer, Carl Cansino won 13.54 percent of the Greene votes. Barksdale scored a victory throughout the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit and will be the next district attorney.
The presidential primary was essentially a moot point by last week’s election. Democrat nominee Joe Biden already secured enough delegates to challenge President Donald Trump in November.
In Greene, Biden received 89.06 percent (1,571 votes) among the Democratic nominees. The next-highest vote earner was Bernie Sanders, who got 5.9 percent of the ballots (104 votes).
Trump was the only Republican on last week’s ballot. He received 100 percent of 2,953 votes.