CLEVELAND, Ga. – Advanced voting for the 2018 General Election begins next week and Georgia is the home of one of the most intriguing – and expensive — gubernatorial races in the nation.
Pollsters say the race is neck and neck. On Sept. 6, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll had it 45 percent for Republican Brian Kemp, 45 percent for Democrat Stacey Abrams, 2 percent for independent Ted Metz and 7.5 percent undecided.
Folks who make a living analyzing political races say the Democrats had the momentum and that anger over President Donald Trump’s policies was driving increased voter registration on the left. But that was before the bitterly divisive hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Infuriated by the “guilty until proven innocent” uncorroborated sexual assault accusations of the liberal left, Republicans have seized the momentum and can be expected to turnout in record numbers to support Kemp.
Health insurance is one key policy difference between the two leading candidates. Abrams supports Medicaid expansion. Kemp says it would bankrupt the state.
Kemp carries the endorsement of President Donald Trump into the election. Abrams is the darling of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, who hope to change the color of Georgia from red to blue.
Advanced voting will be held Monday through Friday from Oct 15 through November 2 between the hours of 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Voters may also cast a ballot on Saturday Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. All advanced voting in White County will take place at the Mauney Building, 1241 Helen Highway, Cleveland. The General Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. when all precincts will be open.
A large number of candidates who will appear on the ballot are running unopposed. They include State Senator Steve Gooch, State Representative John Wilkinson, State Representative Matt Gurtler and Northeast Judicial District Attorney Lee Darragh. In addition to choosing political candidates, voters will have an opportunity to vote on five proposed Constitutional amendments and two statewide referendums.
White County Ballot
Brian Kemp (R ) Stacey Abrams(D) Ted Metz (I)
Geoff Duncan (R) Sarah Riggs Amico (D)
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R ) John Barrow (D)
Chris Carr (R ) Charlie Bailey (D)
Gary Black (R ) Fred Swann (D)
Jim Beck (R ) Janice Laws (D ) Donnie Foster (I)
State School Superintendent
Richard Woods (R ) Otha Thornton, Jr. (D)
Mark Butler (R ) Richard Keatley
U.S. House of Representatives 9th District
Doug Collins (R ) Josh McCall (D)
CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County Commissioner Lyn Holcomb defeated Mike Boswell and Ricky Farmer in Tuesday’s general primary election. Holcomb, who won a third term, avoided a runoff by winning 52.47 percent of the vote. Holcomb received 499 votes, followed by Boswell with 257 and Farmer 195.
In the race for White County School Board District 2, Charlie Bryson, a Hall County law enforcement officer, won by a wide margin over John Solmon and Carly Adam but now faces a July 24 runoff against Solmon. Bryson fell shy of the 50 percent plus one needed to win the seat outright, collecting 1,558 or 44.86 percent to Solmon’s 988 votes. Adam received 927 votes.
The most hotly contested local race turned out to be for the open District 4 school board seat where freelance journalist Linda Erbele narrowly defeated Jeannette Gearing 1,731 to 1,675.
State Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) easily defeated Mickey Cummings to win re-election in House District 8. Gurtler received 5,965 votes to Cummings 3,947.
In the up ballot, statewide elections that drew most of the voters to the polls, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp will face a runoff. In a five-candidate field, Cagle won by a slight margin over Kemp by receiving 39 percent of the votes (227,170 total votes) to Kemp’s 26 percent or 150,051 total votes.
The winner of that race will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November General election. Abrams easily defeated her rival Stacey Evans, winning 76 percent of the vote statewide.
There will also be a runoff in the Lieutenant Governor’s race where David Shafer fell just shy of a clear win. Shafer pulled in a majority of the votes, 256,230, but it was not enough to avoid a runoff with Geoff Duncan in July. Duncan received 27 percent of the votes (140,741).
The winner of that runoff will face Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico in November. Amico pulled in 56 percent of the votes (245,325) defeating opponent Triana James who received 44 percent.
Campaigns have not ended for Brad Raffensperger or David Belle Isle as they will also face off in a November runoff for Secretary of State. Raffensperger received 35 percent of the votes (178,502), moving him into top position. Belle Isle received 29 percent or 145,915 total votes.
Democrat John Barrow will face the winner of that runoff in November. Barrow was able to make a clean win with 52 percent over challengers Dee Dawkins-Haigler and Rakeim Hadley.
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