Rabold wins GOP school board race; a night for incumbents with 22% voter turnout
In a closely followed race marked by negative advertising, District 16 Georgia Senator Marty Harbin retained the GOP nomination in May 22 primary balloting.
Above, screen grab of The Citizen Facebook Live telecast of election coverage May 22. (L-R) Pam Reid, Cal Beverly and Steve Brown.
Harbin, of Tyrone, defeated an energetic challenge by political newcomer Tricia Stearns of Peachtree City, 62 percent to 38 percent across a four-county district comprising Fayette, Spalding, Lamar and Pike counties. The district totals were Harbin 10,685 to Stearns 6,474.
There were two local races with no incumbents that were decided in the Tuesday balloting.
For the Fayette County Commission District 3 seat being vacated by Steve Brown, newcomer Edward “Edge” Gibbons won the Republican primary without a runoff. He beat former Peachtree City Council members Eric Imker and Don Haddix.
Gibbons had slightly over 50 percent, Imker drew 31 percent and Haddix 19 percent. With no Democrat opponent this fall, Gibbons is the presumptive new county commissioner for the district covering most of Peachtree City and extending eastward into the heart of the county.
And in the open District 2 Board of Education race, retired Whitewater High School Principal Roy Rabold defeated real estate agent Traci Fuller 61 percent to 39 percent (2,095 to 1,315) for the Republican nomination.
Rabold will be challenged by Sarah Van Etten, who was unopposed and drew 1,044 votes in the Democrat primary.
Democrat incumbents representing parts of Fayette ran the table Tuesday on their opponents.
Senator Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale), representing northeastern Fayette and part of Clayton counties overwhelmed her challenger, Melody Totten, 75 percent to 25 percent. Seay has held the Senate seat since 2002.
Rep. Debra Bazemore (D-Riverdale) beat Linda Pritchett 59 percent to 41 percent to retain her District 63 seat that she first won in 2016.
In local GOP House races, the incumbents carried the night.
District 71 incumbent David Stover — despite being negatively targeted by the Georgia and Metro Atlanta chambers of commerce — overwhelmed challenger Samuel Anders 64 percent to 36 percent. Stover’s district includes about 3,000 people in western Peachtree City north of Ga. Highway 54.
District 72 incumbent Josh Bonner topped Mary Kay Bacallao 71 percent to 29 percent.
Fayette voters again exceeded the state voter turnout percentage with 22 percent of the county’s registered voters casting ballots for the primaries.