Republican Keith Ellis will be the next chairman of Newton County, after defeating Democrat Marcus Jordan by 21,144 votes to 20,402 votes.
"I'm excited and I'm really humbled by the whole thing and I appreciate the voters giving me this. I know it was close and Marcus ran a good race and I appreciate him. We had a gentleman's agreement from the beginning and both of us stuck to it. I think it was a cleanly run race one that the county can be proud of," Ellis said Tuesday night.
The Covington News sat down with Republican candidate Keith Ellis for a conversation about his bid to become the next chairman of the BOC of Newton County. See the full video below.
Levie Maddox won a resounding victory in the runoff race for the Republican nomination for the Newton County Board of Commissioners District 5 seat, while Democratic incumbent Pam Dickerson edged out her challenger in the District 113 state representative race.
With Republican stalwart Mort Ewing retiring from the board, longtime politician John Douglas won the vacant seat with 1,821 votes to lawyer John Strauss' 1,255 votes. Douglas will be commissioner as there is no Democratic candidate.
Both seeking an open seat and a chance to give Democrats a larger majority on the board of commissioners, businessmen Marcello Banes and Philip Johnson tried to convince voters they'd be best. Banes won the seat with 685 votes and will race a Republican challenger in November.
In another of the more heated races this year, incumbent Nancy Schulz and challenger Tony Flanagan squared off with Schulz pulling out the win with 954 votes.
The most crowded race of the primary saw four Republicans battle for the seat left vacated by Tim Fleming, who chose not to seek re-election.
Embattled incumbent Chairman Kathy Morgan squared off against county employee Marcus Jordan in another race with county-wide implications, but Jordan won with 3,368 votes and will face Republican Keith Eliis in November.
The race for Newton County chairman now has two candidates, after Marcus Jordan, the county's assistant chief tax appraiser, announced this week he will seek office.
While county Chairman Kathy Morgan said Friday she won't announce her future plans until February, Republican contender Keith Ellis spent the day elaborating on his history and platform.
Keith Ellis announced Tuesday his intention to run for chairman of the Board of Commissioners this year, a challenge to an incumbent chairman who has not yet announced her intentions.
The economy and job creation are the two most important election issues around the state and, locally, the alcohol by the drink sales issue is one component of the broader economic debate.