With the Bulloch County probate judge runoff just a few weeks away, two local candidates are hoping to keep the fires burning.
Lorna DeLoach, a legal assistant, and Charles Aaron, a local attorney, will face off July 26 in a runoff election to become Bulloch County’s next probate judge. Current Probate Judge Lee DeLoach decided not to run again after 30 years in the position, opening up the opportunity.
In the May 24 General Primary, Deloach pulled in 3,197 votes to Aaron’s 2,906 votes in a field of five. Candidates Dr. Marty Waters, Kevin Wadley and Lonnie Ellis also ran.
Both Aaron and DeLoach said they are still knocking on doors and approaching people, seeking support, and are using social media as a tool to inform voters the race isn’t over.
“In this modern era, social media (replaces) trying to physically get in front of as many people as possible,” Aaron said. But, he continues to visit outings such as the downtown farmer’s market, activities at Mill Creek Park, and other events in order to meet people and let them get to know him, he said.
DeLoach said she send out reminders via social media, has updated her campaign signs to reflect the runoff date, and still makes personal contact with people.
Many don’t seem to be aware that the race isn’t over and a run off is coming up, she said. “I’ve had many take their yard signs down,” and when asked about it, they say “Didn’t you win?”
Traditionally, voter turnout is low for runoff elections, said Bulloch County Elections Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones. “If the vote is 10 percent, I’ll be surprised.”
Voter turnout for the March Presidential Primary in Bulloch County was only 39 percent, and only 32 percent of registered voters showed up to vote in the May 24 General Primary, she said.
Aaron said he feels sure turnout will be low come July, but hopes to encourage people to exercise their right to vote. “You have three very important positions up for grabs.”
In Bulloch County, there will be three runoff races; one for probate judge, one for Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge (Assistant District Attorney Michael Muldrew and local attorney Martha Hall) and Bulloch County Commission District 2A (Jimmy Hayes and Curt Deal,)
DeLoach agreed that residents should get out and vote in all elections. “We should take advantage of the liberties we were given,” she said.
If elected, each candidate said they would like to continue the work current Probate Judge Lee DeLoach is doing.
“I want to keep the office personable and educate people on what we can do for them,” DeLoach said. “We will have an open door, use social media, visit civic clubs and churches and let people know and be aware of what the probate court does and what is available for them.”
Aaron said he does not have any concerns or issues” with the office, but wants, if elected to “continue forward, have the opportunity to get in the office and put my stamp on the office.” He said the office has a history of being well run and he would continue that tradition.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.