McDONOUGH — Henry County voters created some surprises when they came to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots for commission chairman and three district commissioners.
A runoff appeared likely Tuesday night between Commission Chairman Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis and former Hampton Mayor Tommy N. Smith. Smith was ahead of Mathis late in the evening, 45.03 percent to 41.71 percent, with substitute teacher Jane Askew Rutledge significantly behind the two at 13.26 percent.
The Aug. 21 runoff will determine whether Mathis or Smith will face Democrat Carlotta Harrell, in the November general election.
In District I, businessman William J. “Bo” Moss narrowly defeated long-time Commissioner Warren Emory Holder, who is self-employed in the lawn and garden equipment business.
Moss received 1,898 votes, or 50.20 percent of the total, and Holder got 1,883 votes, or 49.80 percent.
The winner will face attorney James C. Mays, a Democrat, in the November general election.
District II Commissioner John Brian Preston, a certified public accountant, convincingly defeated his GOP Primary opponent, attorney Vincent A. Lotti, 64.27 percent to 35.73 percent. Preston will face businesswoman Jacqueline “Jackie” Anderson-Woods in the November general election.
The current District III Commissioner, Randy Stamey, did not seek re-election this year. The District III Commission race will see a runoff between the top two Republican vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary, Gary Barham and William L. “Bill” Toney, Jr. Barham, who is retired from the City of McDonough, achieved the highest vote total in that race, with nearly 47 percent, while Toney, a business owner, garnered about 43 percent.
They will face each other in an Aug. 21 runoff. The winner will face former McDonough City Councilwoman, Sandra Vincent, a Democrat who works for the Fulton County government, in November.
The remaining GOP candidate in District III was semi-retired businessman, Kenneth David Sherman. He received approximately 10 percent of the vote.
Several additional races in Henry featured candidates who were uncontested in their election bids. Republican Jim Wright will meet Democrat Darius Pattillo to determine who will be the county’s next district attorney.
Superior Court Clerk Barbara Harrison, Sheriff Keith McBrayer, Tax Commissioner David Curry and Coroner Donald Cleveland each won re-election without opposition.