In Bulloch County, two races – for the District 4 State Senate seat and for county solicitor-general – will appear on the Republican ballot for the Aug. 11 runoff election.
Meanwhile, nonpartisan ballots will include just one runoff involving the entire county – a largely symbolic one between the same two state Senate candidates – and a runoff in only a portion of the county for a Board of Education seat.
There are no statewide runoffs, and no actual Democratic Party runoffs, although Democrats can vote in the nonpartisan races. Three weeks of in-person early voting will begin July 20, and absentee ballots can be applied for now.
The Secretary of State’s Office is not mass-mailing absentee ballot request forms as was done before the primary. Nor will an absentee ballot automatically be mailed to everyone who requested and received one for the primary, said Bulloch County Elections Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones.
“Only those who were 65 or above or were disabled and requested to be put on the rollover list will automatically have the ballot mailed to them,” she said. “But anybody else, if they want one, they’re going to have to request it.”
Voters not sure whether they are on the rollover list can check their ballot status on the statewide My Voter Page, www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. An absentee ballot application can also be printed out from that page and emailed, faxed, mailed or brought in-person to the Bulloch County Board of Elections and Registration, 113 North Main Street, Suite 201, Statesboro, GA 30458.
One of the contests on the Republican ballot will be the runoff between Dr. Scott Bohlke and Billy Hickman, CPA, to represent Senate District 4 in the Georgia Senate in the 2021-22 term. The other race for Republican voters throughout the county is the runoff between Catherine Sumner Findley and Mark A. Lanier to become solicitor-general of the Bulloch County State Court.
Bohlke and Hickman also appear as candidates for the state Senate seat on the nonpartisan ballot, but there it is only a runoff to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Jack Hill’s term, through this December, and the Legislature has now adjourned for the year.
Also nonpartisan, the only Board of Education race requiring a runoff is between incumbent Heather Mims and challenger Lisa Deloach in BOE District 7, which makes up about one-eighth of Bulloch County by population.
The nonpartisan ballot will also be included with the Republican ballot. People who voted Republican, Democrat or exclusively nonpartisan can vote in the nonpartisan partial-term special election runoff between Bohlke and Hickman, and BOE District 7 residents can vote in that school board runoff, regardless of party preference.
Can’t switch parties
But voters who cast the Democratic primary ballot June 9 will not be able to vote in the solicitor-general runoff or the full-term state Senate race, since these were Republican primary races, Jones confirmed. A primary runoff is considered an extension of the original primary, and party crossover voting is not allowed.
In the solicitor-general race, on the Republican primary ballot June 9, Findley captured 3,714 votes, or 41%, to Lanier’s 2,890 votes, or 32%, and Ben Edwards’ 2,436 votes, or 27%. With no candidate having received more than 50% of the vote, Findley and Lanier advanced to the runoff.
The race for the BOE District 7 seat also originally involved three candidates, but Mims garnered 738 votes, or 38.6%, to Deloach’s 607 votes, or 31.8%, and Joe Glisson’s 566 votes, or 29.6%.
District 1 BOE done
Another BOE race, the one in District 1, had remained too close for certainty until the Friday after the June 9 primary. But when provisional ballots were tallied and military overseas absentee ballots counted, Glenn Womack still won. Overseas military ballots are the only ballots still accepted if received in the mail after a Tuesday election day, and until 5 p.m. the following Friday.
In fact, Womack expanded his 11-vote election night lead to a still razor-thin margin of 13 as he received a total of 1,321 votes to R. Ryan Brannen’s 1,308, a 50.25% to 49.75% split. Womack is set to succeed District 1 board member Cheri Wagner on the school board in January, since she did not seek re-election.
Bulloch County’s results from the June 9 primary were certified to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office on June 15, Jones said. The Secretary of State’s Office election results link at https://sos.ga.gov now shows the full, final counts from the county.
The one race that could have resulted in a statewide runoff, the Democratic Party primary for a nominee to challenge Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue, instead resulted in a primary win for Jon Ossoff, who captured 52.8 percent of Democrats’ votes statewide to 15.8% for second-place Teresa Tomlinson and 11.8% for third-place Sarah Riggs Amico. Ossoff faces Perdue in the Nov. 3 general election.
In Bulloch County, Ossoff received 1,860 votes, 41.3% of the local count, to 723 votes, or 16%, for Tomlinson, and 659 votes, or 14.6%, for Amico. Maya Dillard Smith was fourth, with 460 votes, or 10.2%, and three other candidates trailed with less than 7% each.
Other final results:
In BOE District 3, incumbent Stuart Tedders kept the seat, receiving 447 votes to Patrice Ellisons’ 356.
In BOE District 8, incumbent Maurice Hill kept the seat with 981 votes to Keisha Howard’s 324.
In the race for tax commissioner, Leslie Deal Akins won with 7,030 votes to Jeanie Rushing Gay’s 2,304. Akins is set to take office in January.
In the Republican primary for sheriff, the final vote count was 8,141 for incumbent Sheriff Noel Brown to 1,475 for challenger Keith Howard. Democratic challenger Rey Rodriguez will face Brown in the Nov. 3 general election.
In County Commission District 2A, the final count was 5,164 votes for Commissioner Curt Deal to 2,978 for challenger Chris Akins.
In the Democratic primary for Bulloch County coroner, the final count was 2,802 votes for Jonathan Paine to 1,545 for Michelle Fiorelli Rupar. Paine faces incumbent Republican Jake Futch in November.
In the 12th District Democratic primary for U.S. Congress, the final Bulloch County count was 3,955 votes for Liz Johnson, a Bulloch resident, to 501 for Dan Steiner of Augusta. After capturing 48,685 votes district-wide, or 83.6% to Steiner’s 9,525 votes, Johnson faces Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Allen in November.
The final Bulloch County counts in the Georgia Senate District 4 Republican primary were 4,672 votes, or 48.7% for Bohlke, the in-county leader, to Hickman’s 4,115 votes, or 42.9%, in what was originally a four-candidate race.
District-wide, Hickman captured 11,190 votes, or 43.2% of the total, to Bohlke’s 9,683 votes, or 37.3%, in the Republican primary. But in the first round of the special election for the partial turn – originally a five-candidate race including one independent – Hickman scored 12,038 votes, or 33.5%, to Bohlke’s 11,493 votes, or 32%.