2012-08-02 / Front Page

Wilkes voters re-elect incumbents, give T-SPLOST tax seal of approval

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A solid 33 percent turnout of voters across Washington- Wilkes brought few surprises as a result of Tuesday’s Primary Elections, and the controversial T-SPLOST sales tax passed here by a very close margin.

In the only contested local races, incumbent Wilkes County Chief Magistrate Judge Rosa Lee Martin hand- ily defeated challenger Charles Rhodes Jr. by a vote of 1,362 to 746, while Wilkes EMA Director Blake Thompson defeated funeral service apprentice Reginald Jones for Wilkes County Coroner by a vote of 831 to 303.

Voters cast their ballots to approve Georgia Transportation Investment Act, also known as T-SPLOST, the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. In the closest of votes on the ballot, Wilkes voters approved the tax by a vote of 1,070 to 1,048. The measure will be won or lost regionally, however, and those votes were not available at press time.

Congressman Paul Broun took a landslide victory over challenger Stephen Simpson, winning almost 88 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Wilkes County Sheriff Mark Moore and Wilkes County Board of Commissioners District 1 incumbent Divinski Lee were reelected without opposition, while District 2 Wilkes County Commissioner Ed Geddings will face Republican Tom Young in the November General Election.

Mildred Peeler, long-time incumbent Clerk of Superior Court, Tax Commissioner Mary Hubbard, Probate Judge Thomas Charping, and Wilkes County Surveyor Jack Newsome were all re-elected without opposition.

In non-partisan races, incumbent Chairman of the Wilkes County Board of Education Ricky Callaway, and incumbent school board members Andrew Jackson (District 3) and Steven Albertson (District 4) sailed to re-election without opposition.

Results of those regional and statewide votes were not complete by press time.

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The requirement for many

The requirement for many candidates for county positions to declare under party affiliation very much affects the outcome of the vote. These elected officials serve the entire county and should be included under the nonpartisan group. It also skews partisan voting when a person feels strongly to vote for a county candidate of the opposite party and loses the right to vote in his/her preferred primary. This practice needs to be changed. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion and what I believe is the opinion of many of our Wilkes County citizens.