Those in the former category would include incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, while headliners in the second category are businessman David Perdue and U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah, the two leading vote-getters in the Republican senatorial primary. Perdue and Kingston now will meet in what promises to be a hard-fought runoff two months hence.
Consolation is due U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta), whose campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss never found the traction he had expected. Gingrey served Cherokee County and the rest of the 11th District ably through the years and his reliably conservative vote will be missed on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, congratulations are due to the two leading vote-getters in the contest to succeed Gingrey: former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cartersville) and former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Smyrna). There is no Democrat seeking the seat. They will face each other July 22 in a runoff. They shouldered past the others, including two leading contenders for the seat, Marietta’s Tricia Pridemore and Buckhead’s Ed Lindsey, as well as Cherokee County’s own Larry Mrozinski.
Two Cherokee County local races will head to a runoff on July 22, with the House District 22 race seeing top vote-getter Wes Cantrell and school teacher Meagan Biello squaring off for the seat most recently held by Rep. Sam Moore (R-Macedonia), who was unseated Tuesday night after stirring controversy at the state Legislature in his first and only months in office.
In south Cherokee County’s Commission District 4, architect Scott Gordon and former commissioner Larry Singleton are facing off for the run-off after being the top two in a three-man race that included tea party favorite Joe Robert.
Congratulations are due to District 1’s newly elected representative, Steve West, who defeated four-term incumbent Harry Johnston, as well as Commission Chair Buzz Ahrens, who won easily against challenger Jackie Archer to secure a third term.
School Board incumbent Rick Steiner handily beat challenger Robert Strozier for another term, and Clark Menard and John Harmon, both vocal supporters of public education, took two of the four seats up for grabs. Former School Board member Mike Chapman, who was outspoken as school board chair against a proposed charter school and later redistricted out of his post, handily beat challenger Susie Tlacil to reclaim a seat on the board of education. Congratulations to all four new members.
Voter turnout in Cherokee was only 20.52 percent on Tuesday. Sadly, it likely will be even less for the runoffs. Much is at stake for our state and county. Not only do the candidates deserve better from the electorate, county residents owe it to themselves to make their wishes known, via the ballot box.
As for those who did the right thing by voting on Tuesday, you deserve the thanks of your fellow Cherokee Countians.