In other countywide races, the contest for tax commissioner avoided a runoff, and two judgeships were decided when Cherokee County voters went to the polls Tuesday.
Voters in District 3 elected Brian Poole as their new representative, defeating challenger Chris Hampton with 57.6, or 4,682 votes. Hampton received 42.4, or 3,444 votes.
However, voters in District 2 will head to the polls on Aug. 21 to cast their ballots in a runoff election.
None of the three candidates garnered enough votes to avoid the Aug. 21 runoff.
Incumbent County Commissioner Jim Hubbard received 45.2 percent, or 4,296 votes, while challengers Raymond Gunnin garnered 27.5 percent, or 2,613 votes and Channing Ruskell received 27.2 percent, or 2,592, votes.
Hubbard, 67, running for his third four-year term on the commission, said he expected the race to result in a runoff.
The incumbent commissioner said his lead in the race indicated that the “negative campaigning didn’t work in some areas.”
“I feel really good about this,” he said. “We’ll still run a good, positive campaign.”
Ruskell, 57, partner in Woodstock law firm Carson & Ruskell, said the results indicate the voters in District 2 “did not want the incumbent.”
“Raymond Gunnin is a good man and I’m supporting his candidacy,” he said.
Gunnin, 52, who retired as the Cherokee County fire chief in 2011, added he felt his campaign also ran a “clean” race.
“We’ve done well and it’s just in God’s hands now,” he added.
Poole, 38, will succeed incumbent commissioner Karen Bosch, who decided not to seek re-election.
He added he was “totally stoked” by the results.”
“I’m just looking forward to working for the people of District 3,” he said, adding he wanted to work with the county commissioners to bring more jobs into Cherokee County.
Hampton congratulated Poole on his victory, but added voters in the district elected a candidate who had only lived in the county for roughly 14 months.
“He’s got a tough task ahead and I wish him well,” he added.
The race for Cherokee County Tax Commissioner saw present Tax Commissioner Sonya Little take a clear and substantial lead from the first returns to keep her job in a three-way race without a runoff.
Little, 45, faced off with Kenny Phelps, 52, and Robert Wade Wilkie, 45, in the race to be the next tax commissioner.
Little took 58.2 percent of the vote or 20,576 votes. Phelps came away with 24 percent or 8,480 votes and Wilkie got 6,283 votes or 17.8 percent of the vote.
Little said the win was humbling and she believes the results showed that taxpayers are happy with the services they are receiving.
“This is absolutely overwhelming and I want to thank everyone who put a sign up, who told someone about our campaign, and who worked for me,” Little said.
Little said she also thanked David Fields, the long-time tax commissioner who resigned in 2011 and appointed Little, then the chief assistant, as his replacement.
“I thank Mr. Fields, for the last 10 years, for the staff we have assembled and the technology we were able to introduce,” Little said.
In the race for Blue Ridge Superior Court Judge David Cannon Jr. beat out Woodstock attorney Mark Shriver to succeed retiring Judge Frank C. Mills.
Cannon received 23,235 votes or 63 percent to Shriver’s 13,547 or 36.8 percent.
Cannon, 41, who resigned as solicitor general to run for the judgeship, said he was overwhelmed.
“The support that has been shown to me by my friends, family and supporters is just overwhelming,” Cannon said Tuesday night. “It is an honor to replace Judge Mills and I hope I can come close to filling his shoes.”
Cannon said it was especially amazing because this is the first open superior court judgeship in recent county history decided by voters and not filled by an appointment.
“This is the first time the people have chosen and I am grateful they have chosen me to fill this seat,” said Cannon. “I am eternally grateful and will do my best to make everyone who supported me proud.”
Canton attorney Jeff Rusbridge and assistant Solicitor General Michelle Homier ran a tight race throughout the evening, with Homier taking 52.5 percent of the vote to become the next State Court Judge to replace retiring Judge C.J. Gober.
Rusbridge, 38, took 47.3 percent or a total of 17,049 votes to Homier’s total of 18,938.