The votes have been counted and there were so many local races this week, let’s just cut to the chase and talk about some of the winners, the losers and who still gets to campaign over the next several weeks in the hot Georgia sun in hopes of winning a runoff.
In the crucial race for judgeships, incumbent Superior Court Judge Carl Brown easily beat local attorney Chris Nicholson to hold onto his seat.
The fact that Nicholson even attempted to unseat Brown, a well-respected judge who has served for more than 34 years as both a Superior Court judge and chief judge of Augusta’s municipal court, was… well, let’s face it, laughable.
Especially considering the disciplinary arm of the State Bar of Georgia is currently recommending that Nicholson be suspended from practicing law for at least two years.
In another important race for Superior Court judgeship, Judge John Flythe defeated local attorney Evita Paschall to take over retiring Augusta Superior Court Judge Carlisle Overstreet’s seat.
And in the race for the State Court judgeship being vacated by Flythe, there will be a runoff between attorneys Robert “Bo” Hunter III and Kellie Kenner McIntyre.
Kellie Kenner McIntyre, who is the current Richmond County State Court solicitor general, is also the daughter-in-law of former Augusta Mayor Ed McIntyre.
Local attorney Robert “Bo” Hunter III, who served as the former solicitor general of Richmond County State Court for about eight years starting back in 1988, is probably best known as a sole practitioner in The Hunter Law Firm.
Monique Walker, who is the current chief operating officer and general counsel for Global Personnel Solutions and also happens to be the daughter of former state Sen. Charles Walker, came in third in the race.
In the race for House District 123, which is currently held by retiring Rep. Barbara Sims, it was a very close race between Dr. Mark Newton and local attorney Wright McLeod.
But Dr. Mark Newton was declared the winner by receiving a little more than 50 percent of the votes cast.
Newton impressed voters by not only being an emergency room doctor, but an Army veteran, a local business owner, a proud member of the National Rifle Association and a father of four children.
Following his service in the Army Medical Corps and further training at the Medical College of Georgia, Newton became the chairman and medical director of the emergency department at Doctors Hospital in Augusta.
Newton is also the founder and CEO of MedNow Urgent Care centers, which has three locations in Richmond and Columbia counties.
McLeod was a close second in the race, while local businesswoman and registered nurse Lori Greenhill came in a distant third.
Over in the House District 124 race, long-time incumbent Rep. Henry “Wayne” Howard easily beat his competitor, retired Army combat veteran Gregory Hill.
Hill also happens to be the former husband of Monique Walker, the daughter of former state Sen. Charles Walker.
In House District 125, incumbent Rep. Ernie Smith was beaten by his opposition, retired Democratic postal employee Sheila Clark Nelson.
Many voters pointed to Smith’s recent troubles with the state’s ethics commission as their reason for not supporting his re-election.
Late last year, the state’s ethics commission, formally known as the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, found probable cause that Smith had violated various state laws in his handling of campaign cash.
A commission investigation found Smith committed 88 violations of campaign finance laws. Specifically, Smith allegedly failed to disclose property he owned on personal financial disclosure reports and failed to report $7,503 in campaign contributions and $25,297 in campaign expenditures since December 2010.
However, Smith denied any wrongdoings.
Over in Georgia’s District 23 race, incumbent Sen. Jesse Stone easily beat Republican challenger in Sylvania, Ga., resident, Stephen Hammond.
Stone, who was raised in Waynesboro, is an attorney that has served as senator of District 23 since 2010.
In the race for the District 24 seat currently held by retiring state Sen. Bill Jackson, there appears to be a runoff.
Five Republican candidates were vying for that position including former state Rep. Lee Anderson; President of Sherman & Hemstreet Real Estate Company Joe Edge; former District 3 candidate on Columbia County Commission Greg Grzybowski; former chairwoman of the Columbia County Republican Party Pat Goodwin; and Realtor and mayor of Bowman, Ga., Peter Gibbons.
Anderson received the most vote in the Republican primary, but it appears he will be facing a runoff. The winner of the Republican primary will face off against Democratic candidate Brenda Jordan in November.
Over in local law enforcement, long-time Richmond County Marshal Steve Smith lost to challenger Ramone Lamkin, who is currently the head of the Traffic Safety Division of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
Lamkin has campaigned over the past few weeks on the belief that the Marshal’s office needs to be more connected to the community.
“A lot of people don’t know what the marshal’s office even does and they don’t know who the marshal is,” he said. “That’s sad to say, but it is true. People know who the coroner is, but they don’t know who the marshal is.”
Smith had served as marshal in Richmond County for 28 years and has been in local law enforcement for almost 40 years.
In Richmond County, there were three hotly contested races for Augusta Commission seats.
In District 1, Commissioner Bill Fennoy faced competition from two challengers: community activist Denice Traina and political newcomer Michael Thurman.
But Fennoy held onto his seat by receiving more than 50 percent of the votes cast in Richmond County.
Thurman, who is is the president of McGillicuddy Rental Properties in Augusta, came in second by receiving more than 30 percent of the votes.
Over in District 5, former Richmond County school board member Andrew Jefferson, who recently retired from Augusta Technical College after more than 30 years in education, beat challenger Kelby Walker to replace Augusta Commissioner Bill Lockett.
Finally, the highly outspoken and controversial incumbent Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams handily beat his competitor, Ronnie Battle, who served almost 25 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring to the Augusta area in 1998.
In Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, incumbent Congressman Rick Allen has once again beaten Republican candidate Eugene Yu in the Republican primary.
Allen will face Democratic challenger Patricia Carpenter McCracken in November’s general election.