Booze, GOP Win with South Georgia Voters

In local elections last week, Worth County maintained status quo as none of the seats up for grabs were contested. County commissioners Ken Hall, Bettye Bozeman, and Billy McDonald all retained their seats on the county board with 100 percent of the votes. Likewise, on the board of education, Chairman Butch Jenkins and board members Melvin Jefferson and Randy Bacon all also gained 100 percent of the votes to maintain their seats.

In the City of Sumner a close race for mayor took place. Incumbent Mayor Don Long won over challenger Susan Brantley by a handful of votes to keep his post among the Sumner City Council. Jesse Kelley won the Post 2 seat, and Todd Spence won the Post 4 seat on the council.

However, the big stories last week in Georgia and across the nation was the apparent voter backlash against the Obama administration. Worth and Georgia voters fell in line with the majority of the country in creating a sea of red across the nation.

Locally, 70 percent of Worth voters chose incumbent Nathan Deal over Democratic challenger Jason Carter for Governor. Statewide, Deal tallied 53 percent of the votes to keep his seat. Democrats also hoped to capture the seat of retired Senator Saxby Chambliss, but Republican David Perdue won over Michelle Nunn by eight percentage points statewide. In Worth County, Perdue gained over 71 percent of the votes.

The trend followed suit for Lieutenant Governor with incumbent Casey Cagle gaining 75 percent of the votes in Worth County over Democrat Connie J. Stokes. Statewide, Cagle won with 58 percent of the votes. Likewise, incumbent Brian Kemp won secretary of state with nearly 75 percent of Worth voters and 57.5 percent statewide. Sam Olens retained his seat as Georgia’s attorney general and Gary Black held his post as commissioner of agriculture with similar numbers in local and state elections. Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Austin Scott, State Senator Greg Kirk, and State Representative Ed Rynders all ran unopposed. Also, South Georgia voters continued expanding access to alcohol in last Tuesday’s election with a number of cities and counties voting to allow Sunday sales and alcohol by the drink. Cordele and Crisp County voted to allow Sunday liquor sales and sales of liquor by the drink. Grady County also voted to allow Sunday liquor sales in package stores, and Seminole County voted to allow liquor by the drink, even to be sold on Sunday. Finally, Donalsonville voted in favor of liquor by the drink and Sunday sales in package stores, as well as liquor by the drink on Sunday.

Sylvester residents voted against similar measures in a previous election. Though, the trend across South Georgia in recent years has trended towards allowing access to these intoxicating libations.