Fayette Republicans turn away Democratic challengers locally

Final tally of Fayette votes cast for president and U.S. Senate.
Final tally of Fayette votes cast for president and U.S. Senate.

Local winners: Sheriff Babb, commissioners Maxwell and Oddo, School Board Post 1 Hough, and a cap on school taxing power — 

For the first time more than two decades, Fayette Democrats mounted multiple challenges to several Republican incumbents — from sheriff to county commissioner to state representatives. The exercise didn’t produce any victories for the Democrats, but the vote split demonstrated the growing power of an opposition party in what has been since the early 1990s a dependable GOP stronghold.

In one of the closest contests on the Fayette ballot, Republican Donald Trump beat Democrat Joe Biden 53% to 46% in local votes.

Two-term Sheriff Barry Babb was returned for another four years as the top law enforcement officer in Fayette County. Babb defeated Democrat Chris Pigors by nearly 15,000 votes. Babb got 40,384 (61%) to Pigors’s 25,505 (39%).

Multi-term Fayette County Commissioner Charles Oddo — who has served as the board’s chairman in the past — received 37,580 votes (58%) to retain his at-large Post 5 slot. Democrat William Lightle took 27,655 votes (42%) in his losing effort.

Incumbent Eric Maxwell was reelected to the District 1 post with 9,659 votes (60%), while challenger Democrat Vickie Butler notched 6,418 votes (40%).

In the Board of Education Post 1 being vacated by Barry Marchman of Tyrone, Randy Hough tallied 9,524 votes (59%) while Democrat Candace Aaron got 6,582 votes (41%).

Hough will join a school board that was handed a financial challenge by the 43,822 Fayette voters who overwhelmingly approved a cap on the automatic school tax increases that come with increased property value assessments. The Fayette Homestead Exemption prohibits the school board from raising taxes more than 3% on residential property, regardless of the increased value. The change applies only to the school tax. Other local governments are not affected by the new law in Fayette.

Two municipalities held nonpartisan special elections for vacant council posts. Tyrone Council Post 3 had four contenders to fill the vacancy created when incumbent Ken Matthews died in June. And Brooks also held a special election with two candidates.

In Tyrone, the top vote-getter and winner was Billy Campbell with 990 votes out of 2,535 cast, including 26 write-ins. In Brooks, Kay Brumbelow won the Post 1 seat with 220 votes (64%) to Donald Britt’s 127 votes (37%) in the nonpartisan race.

In legislative races, the Republican incumbents defeated their Democrat challengers. District 72 Rep. Josh Bonner beat Democrat Fred Rovner 74% to 26%. Griffin Rep. Karen Mathiak beat Democrat William Harris, and District 71 Rep. Philip Singleton won over Peachtree City Librarian Jill Prouty 72% to 28%.


  1. My sense is that the reason Joe Biden got so many votes is NOT that Georgia is about to become liberal and support a Green New Deal. It is also NOT because Biden generated the excitement and adulation that Trump has. The Republicans I know who voted for Biden did so because they hate Trump’s personal attacks and tweets. They voted personality over policies. I can understand, but think that reasoning is rather short-sighted.

    • I agree with Holmes. This election was merely a referendum on Donald Trump. Attempting to divine anything else from the outcome will only lead to spurious conclusions. Thankfully, more Americans loath rather than like the president.

      It will be interesting to see how quickly Republicans can excise the Trumpian cancer from their party and return to a rational, policy-oriented institution. The quicker the better for all of us.

      • I would like to think STF that the referendum went a little broader to include some Trump supporters too, like the Proud Boys, America First, the Three Percenters, QAnon, American Freedom Party, United Constitutional Patriots, etc. These are some of the stem cells of the Trumpian cancer that was cultivated and actually flourished during his single term in the WH.

  2. With the influx of people from California and other liberal areas, it is only a matter of time that our once great state will become that places these people left behind. We can thank the movie industry for the influx of liberals into our county. I find it hard to believe that Biden (a guy that can’t put a complete sentence together) got more votes than Obama. The Democrats push for mail in votes opened the doors for voter fraud. I wonder how many dead people voted this go around.

  3. Yep. President Biden/Harris it will be. As of Friday AM Biden needs 1 undecided state and Trump needs all 4. Not much hope for Trump. As I’m typing Pennsylvania is going blue.

    I am deeply embarrassed that it will likely be Georgia that puts Biden over the top. I never thought of us as being a swing state and certainly not a blue state. And then in January in a light-turnout runoff, we could get 2 Democrat Senators and we would go down in history as losing control of the Senate. Can you imagine how uncomfortable it is going to be to know that one of our US Senators is Jon Ossoff? The Senate is the upper and supposedly more mature branch of Congress.

    I also hope for peaceful transition, although Trump will not go quietly, but even with a few lawsuits, he will go. Then probably buy or form a TV network or something. Pushing Donald Jr. forward as a candidate in 2024 seems likely, but destined to fail.

    I must have underestimated the number and reach of the anti-Trumpers. Still don’t understand how they think a vote for Biden helps their country or future – even though it makes them true to their cause. Oh well, I guess we will find out next the youth Millennial vote was stronger than ever. If that’s so, we have reached the inevitable crossover where baby boomers fade and Millennials and Gen-Xers are in control.

    I’m sure the significance of who Biden/Harris chooses for Cabinet (and eventually Supreme Court) will be lost on the young people – they may even applaud things like AOC and Mayor Pete and Beto and even some of the Obama racial warriors being given the levers of power. Even Comey, Clapper and Strock can come back because that investigation will be dead as a doornail. Ditto for Hunter’s misdeeds. The anti-Trumpers will be privately appalled, but will bear no real responsibility.

  4. At the end of today, with the votes counted, I suspect Joe Biden will have surpassed the 270 electoral threshold. My hope is President Trump will accept this and start working with the Biden transition team and move forward. This is not the time to question the integrity of the balloting system; that should have been vetted earlier. Oh, and so we are clear on this, I did vote for President Trump.

    Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We will be watching you both closely.