FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The battle lines were drawn almost as quickly as plans for a percentage increase on consumable goods was announced.
On July 31, voters came out in opposition of the transportation referendum, much like most of the state’s 12 regions where the issue was on the ballot. Only three regions passed the tax to fund road and other transportation specific projects.
In Forsyth County, which was part of a 13-county Georgia Mountains region, it means a loss of about $275 million over 10 years to fund a list of local projects.
The transportation tax in this region got a 75 percent No rejection vote and only 25 percent voted in favor.
The transportation special purpose local option sales tax issue could resurface in a couple of years, but would first need legislative approval.
Voters in the primary election were in a mood to keep incumbents in office.
For most contested seats, incumbents retained their seats, with the exception of four races that will head to a runoff Aug. 21 because they did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote. Early voting for the runoff begins by Aug. 8.
Of the county’s 100,607 registered voters, there were 30,953 ballots cast during the July 31 election, or a 31 percent voter turnout.
The four races that will be decided in the Aug. 21 runoff election include the sheriff’s race, the coroner’s race, a 9th District U.S. House of Representatives that covers 20 counties including Hall and Forsyth counties and the north Forsyth County Commission District 4 race.
In the District 4 Commission race, Commissioner Patrick Bell, who seeks a second term, will again face the top vote getter in the primary race — Cindy Jones Mills.
Bell got 27 percent of the vote to Mills’ 44 percent.
The other three candidates in that district race were Tim Hubbard (15 percent), Bill Mulrooney (8 percent) and Charles Meagher (6 percent).
In the three-way race for sheriff, incumbent Sheriff Ted Paxton (48 percent) will face off against Duane Piper (27 percent). Lauren McDonald, who is the current Forsyth County Coroner, came in third with 25 percent. McDonald has since thrown his support to Paxton.
In the Forsyth County Coroner race, newcomer Mary Beth Pais earned 43 percent of the vote and will face off against Harold Bennett, who got 33 percent of the vote. Mark Musselwhite came in third with 23 percent.
The fourth runoff is for Georgia’s 9 th District U.S. House between the top Republican vote getters Doug Collins and Martha Zoller.
In third, Roger Fitzpatrick, earned 17 percent.
The winner of the House runoff race will face Democrat Jody Cooley.
The winner in District 2 Commission race was Republican incumbent Brian Tam, who won his third term with 58 percent of the vote. Tam will serve for four-years. His opponents were Dennis Brown (37 percent) and Scott Padis (5 percent).
In District 5, current Forsyth County Commission Chairman Jim Boff (R) won a second term with 61 percent of the votes to John Derucki’s 39 percent.
In District 27, State Sen. Jack Murphy narrowly beat challenger Steve Voshall by merely 117 votes.
Murphy received 13,282 votes, or 50.2 percent to Voshall’s 49.8 percent or 13,165 votes.
For more results, visit northfulton.com or forsythco.com for voting information.