Tuesday’s runoff election featured a number of local races affecting Coastal Georgia. Here’s the results from the most-watched contests:
Democrats in Georgia’s First District selected Wade Herring to battle the incumbent Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter this fall to represent Coastal Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Herring, a corporate lawyer and well-known community activist from Savannah, beat three-time Democratic candidate Joyce Griggs, in Tuesday’s runoff by leveraging a huge war chest and a well-oiled advertising campaign that focused on bread-and-butter party issues such as access to abortion and gun control.
By 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Herring had 61.9% of the 20,642 votes counted, according to unofficial results posted by the Georgia Secretary of State.
In Glynn County Rick Townsend, the longtime local education advocate, beat his Republican rival Bob Duncan to represent their party in the race for the solidly conservative state House District 179 this fall.
Republican challenger Mike Hodges, who campaigned on his background as a University of Georgia Bulldog, just like Republican Herschel Walker, also won his party runoff for the District 3 state senate race. The seat represents Glynn and McIntosh residents in the upper house of the state legislature. Hodges beat rival Jeff Jones by a two-to-one margin.
In Chatham County, lawyer Joe Huffman outpaced Richard Sanders to become the new judge for Recorders Court. Sanders had received the most votes in the primary May 24, but did not have enough in that three-way race to reach the 50.1% threshold necessary to avoid a runoff. Huffman, who had the endorsement of Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher, pulled in more votes Tuesday night and won more than 61% of the votes, according to unofficial results.
Although most of Tuesday’s runoff races were for Democratic Party candidates, the Recorder’s Court Judge race is nonpartisan. It had the highest turnout of all runoff contests in Chatham County, indicating that hundreds of Republicans or Independents also turned up to cast a ballot for this crucial position that decides issues of bail in misdemeanor criminal cases.
The marquee race in Coastal Georgia, however, was the Democratic runoff for the U.S. House of Representatives contest this fall.
Griggs, who often cited her hardscrabble life as the daughter of sharecroppers, her meritorious career as an U.S. Army officer and her work for low-income Black families as reasons that she would make a great elected official, handily won the primary, but failed to reach the simple majority of votes cast last month.