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.
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.
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.