Two Madison County elections now head to overtime.
The local sheriff’s Republican race was cut from three to two Tuesday, while the GOP coroner’s campaign was whittled from four to two.
Incumbent sheriff Kip Thomas and former sheriff Clayton Lowe will face off Aug. 21. Thomas received 2,626 votes (43.1 percent) in the Republican primary Tuesday, while Lowe garnered 2,393 votes (39.26). Brenan Baird was eliminated from the race Tuesday, gathering 1,077 votes (17.7 percent).
A candidate must receive over 50 percent of the votes to win.
The winner of the Thomas/Lowe showdown will face former Comer police chief Brent Zellner in the November general election. Zellner defeated William Kenneth (Ken) White 317 (59.3 percent) to 218 (40.7 percent) for the Democratic nomination for sheriff.
In the coroner’s race, Julie Phillips received the most votes, with 2,110 (36.7 percent). She’ll face John Sartain — 1,663 votes (28.91 percent) — in the Aug. 21 Republican runoff. The winner of that race won’t face Democratic opposition in November. Current coroner Michelle Cleveland is not seeking re-election.
Madison County voters will also choose Aug. 21 between Republicans Doug Collins and Martha Zoller in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives Georgia District 9 seat. Roger Fitzpatrick was eliminated from the race Tuesday. Collins carried Madison County with 2,132 votes (39.8 percent), while Zoller finished with 1,730 (32.3 percent). The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Jody Cooley in November.
Madison County chief registrar Tracy Dean said her office is preparing for early voting as fast as possible, but she said voters probably won’t be able to cast early votes until the week before the runoff. She noted that Tuesday’s election results won’t be certified until Friday. The ballots will then be drafted and voting machines inspected.
“It (early voting) may just be for a couple of days,” said Dean. “It could start the 13th (of August) or it may be toward the end of that week.”
Madison County citizens who voted in the Democratic primary cannot participate in the three Republican runoffs Aug. 21. However, anyone who voted on the Republican ballot may participate. Likewise, any registered voter who did not vote in the primaries can participate in the runoff.
Anyone with questions about the runoff elections is encouraged to call the registrar’s office at 706-795-6335.