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Sheriff Markley will serve sixth term

June 18, 2020 - 06:00
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Morgan sheriff first took office on Jan. 1, 2001

Incumbent Robert Markley will remain the Morgan County Sheriff after once again soundly defeating challenger Kenny Stewart.

“I am honored to receive the support from the community and committed to providing the citizens with continued professional law enforcement services,” Markley said. “I’m so proud to serve with the men and women of the Morgan county Sheriff’s Office. These are the hardest working and most committed people.”

In the June 9 Republican Primary, Markley defeated Stewart with 78.8 percent of the vote, 3,705 to 995. Markley won the 2016 General Election with 71 percent of the vote when Stewart ran against him as a Democrat.

Bill Kurtz will replace the retiring Ron Milton as Morgan County’s District 5 Commissioner after defeating Grant Catterton in the Republican primary by just 93 votes (540 to 447).

Republican Wendy Coe garnered 75 percent of votes in the Republican primary for tax commissioner to replace incumbent Becky Astin, who chose not to run again. Coe received 3,406 votes while Sheree Moon Evans received 1,109.

Coe will face Democrat Sheila Terrell Sanders in the General Election in November. Sanders ran unopposed.

Republican Brad Hawk and Democrat Anne Ballard both ran unopposed for the District 3 seat on the Morgan County Board of Education and will face each other in November. Hawk or Ballard will replace Keith Howard, who chose not to run again.

Local candidates running unopposed and without opposition in the General Election include:

• District 3 Commissioner Ben Riden

• District 4 Commissioner Philip Von Hanstein

• District 1 Board of Education Cheryl Bland

• District 2 Board of Education Joe Slaughter (replacing Nelson Hale who chose not to run again).

• Probate Judge Charles Merritt

• Magistrate Judge Connie Holt

• Coroner Adam Carter

• Superior Court Clerk Jody Higdon

A Republican County?

Three times as many Morgan County voters cast ballots in the Republican primary as they did on the other ticket with President Donald Trump receiving 4,073 votes and all democrats combined receiving 1,340 votes. Joe Biden received 1,190 votes.

Statewide voting was much more balanced with Trump receiving 912,077 and all Democrats receiving 987,962 votes with Biden getting 85 percent.

Democrat Jon Osoff fared much better in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate than he did in the 2017 special election against Karen Handel for Georgia’s sixth district seat in the U.S. Congress. Handel won that election, but Ossoff received 52 percent of the vote among a field of eight Democrats to earn the Democratic nomination. He did even better in Morgan County with 60 percent of the vote. Ossoff will face incumbent David Perdue in November.

Republican Jody Hice, District 10 Representative in the U.S. House, ran unopposed in the primary. Democrat Tabitha Johnson-Greene received nearly 66 percent of the vote and will oppose Hice in the General Election. Johnson-Greene received 65 percent in Morgan County.

Burt Jones, District 25 State Senator, ran unopposed in Republican primary and will be opposed by Veronica Brinson in the General Election.

The District 112 representative in the Georgia House, Dave Belton ran unopposed as a Republican and will face Democrat Malcolm Adams in the General Election.

T. Wright Barksdale was the overwhelming choice to replace Stephen Bradley as the Ocmulgee Circuit District attorney, receiving 81 percent of the total vote and 92 percent in Morgan County.

Brenda Holbert Trammell, Amanda S. Petty, Terry Massey, Stephen Bradley and Alison Teresa Burlinson all ran unopposed as judges for the Ocmulgee Circuit.

A total of 4,730 ballots were cast in Morgan County with 1,607 (just 34 percent) at the polling places on Election Day. The majority of votes came in on absentee ballots, 1,902 of them (40 percent). Early voters cast 1,221 ballots (26 percent).