Brown wins his PTC district; Harbin, Studdard in runoff for Ga. Senate

Confounding his vocal critics, Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown in Tuesday Republican voting overpowered two former mayors of Peachtree City to win the Post 3 slot without a runoff with a 52 percent total.

Brown has no Democrat opposition in November, so he is assured of another four years on the commission.

In Fayette’s first balloting experience following a federal court order to change to district voting from the historical at-large model, Republicans voted businessman Marty Harbin and attorney David Studdard, both Fayette residents, into a July runoff to determine District 16’s next state senator.

District 4 GOP Board of Education candidates Diane Basham (39 percent) and John Kimbell (36 percent) will face off in July to determine who will run against Democrat Ogechi Oparah in the November general election.

In the contest for the Senate District 16 seat being vacated by Sen. Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone), businessman Marty Harbin, also of Tyrone, led the field the whole night for the top spot in the July runoff.

Fayetteville attorney James Studdard won the second runoff slot by 74 votes out of 16,073 cast across the four counties, squeaking past Griffin attorney W. G. “Bill” Johnston 21.57 percent to 21.11 percent.

There were no other contested local races on the ballot for either party.

Here are the numbers in final but unofficial counts:

Of Fayette’s 70,373  registered voters, 15,932 (22.64 percent) cast ballots in all five districts.

Post 3 county commission race:

• Steve Brown (I): 1,319 (52.63%)

• Don Haddix: 189 (7.54%)

• Harold Logsdon: 998 (39.82%)

Post 4 board of education race:

• Diane Basham: 948 (38.79%)

• Mindy Fredrikson: 254 (10.39%)

• John Kimbell: 882 (36.09%)

• Jane Owens: 360 (14.73%)

Harbin got 4,227 votes (26.33 percent) district wide to Studdard’s 3,463 (21.57 percent).

In the District 16, Ga. State Senate race with all four counties (Fayette, Spalding, Pike and Lamar) reporting:

• Bob Barnard: 1,369 (8.53%)

• James W. Clifton: 1,252 (7.8%)

• Marty Harbin: 4,227 (26.33%)

• W.G. “Bill” Johnston: 3,389 (21,11%)

• Erik A. Manning: 1,965 (12.24%)

• David J. Studdard: 3,463 (21.57%)

• Gil B. Williams: 388 (2.42%)

In just the Fayette portion of the vote (24 precincts) for District 16, the numbers are:

• Bob Barnard: 891

• James W. Clifton: 764

• Marty Harbin: 2,757

• W.G. “Bill” Johnston: 374

• Erik A. Manning: 1,380

• David J. Studdard: 2,177

• Gil B. Williams: 188

In state Senate District 34, incumbent Democrat Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) easily held on to her seat, trouncing Sherry Mallory 77 percent to 23 percent. A portion of that district lies within northern Fayette County. There is no Republican opposition.

Former Fayette resident Lynn Westmoreland beat back Riverdale challenger C.E. “Chip” Flanegan 64 percent to 36 percent to retain his solidly Republican District 3 U.S. House of Representatives seat. He has no Democrat opposition this fall.

Former Fayette County Board of Education member Mary Kay Bacallao surprised many observers by coming in third in her first statewide race for the Republican nomination for Georgia school superintendent. She drew 71,590 votes (15.33 percent), just behind second-place finisher Richard Woods with 78,312 (16.76 percent). Top vote-getter was Mike Buck with 91,180 (19.52 percent). Buck and Woods will face off in the GOP runoff in July.

In Fayette, Bacallao led all other candidates in that race with 46.38 percent. Her nearest challenger for the Fayette vote was Buck with 12.8 percent.

Up ballot, Governor Nathan Deal trounced his Republican primary opponents with seven out of every 10 votes cast. Deal will face Democrat Jason Carter in what is forecast to be a tight race in November.

In Fayette, Deal mirrored his statewide showing with 70 percent of the local votes cast.

Democrat Michelle Nunn beat back Democrat challengers for the U.S. Senate nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Saxby Chambliss. She will face the winner of the July GOP runoff matchup between businessman David Perdue (30.64 percent) and southeast Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston (25.79 percent).

Fayette Democrats gave Nunn 80.57 percent of their 3,607 votes, while Fayette GOP voters favored Perdue (38.22 percent), followed by Karen Handel (26.3 percent), out of the total 11,974 votes cast in the GOP primary.