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Residents encouraged to vote in runoff
by Mary Cosgrove
August 14, 2012 04:05 PM | 1629 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Henry County residents are encouraged to vote in the Aug. 21 runoff to decide who will advance to the November election in two board of commission races.

Incumbent Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis and opponent Tommy Smith had a close race in the July 31 general primary. Smith, former Hampton mayor, bested one-term chairman Mathis by 685 votes, out of a total of 20,554 votes cast.

While Smith had the most votes, he only topped out at 45.03 percent of the votes to Mathis’ 41.7 percent. By law, a candidate must earn 50 percent plus one vote to win the race.

The third Republican challenger Jane A. Rutledge earned 13.27 percent of the votes.

The open race for the District 3 commission seat put Gary Barham in the lead with 46.81 percent of vote. Challenger Bill Toney came in close second with 43.10 percent of the vote, a difference of a mere 193 votes out of 5,193 cast.

Third challenger Ken Sherman only earned 10.09 percent of the vote.

The winners of each run off race will continue on to the Nov. 6 general election. The winner of the chairman race will face Democratic candidate Carlotta Harrell.

The winner of the District 3 race will face Democratic candidate Sandra Vincent.

Results of the runoff will be posted online at our website,

Early voting for next week’s runoff closed on Monday.

Voter registration deadline for the general election is Oct. 8, with advanced voting beginning Oct. 15. Saturday voting will be Oct. 27.

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