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Brent Bennett, Stephanie Lindsey set to take office following runoff wins
2024 election
Stephanie Lindsey (left) and Brent Bennett (right) have won their respective runoff races during the June 18 runoff election.

NEWTON COUNTY – The projected winners of the June 18 runoff races are set to cause a substantial shakeup in Newton County government.

In a back-and-forth race, Brent Bennett is projected to become Newton County’s next tax commissioner after defeating challenger Avis Williams.

The Board of Commissioners is also expected to see another change. Stephanie Lindsey defeated incumbent Alana Sanders for District 3’s seat.

Bennett wins tax commissioner race

Bennett won the tax commissioner race after garnering 2,025 votes (51.33 percent), just 105 votes more than Williams, who received 1,920 votes (48.67 percent). 

The vote difference between the two candidates fluctuated throughout the night, with eight votes separating the two at one point during the tally.

Only 3,945 total votes were cast during the June 18 election in comparison to the over 8,600 votes that were counted in May.

Since Bennett is a Democrat and no Republican qualified for the race, he will presumptively take office in January 2025.

In a statement to The Covington News, Bennett expressed his gratitude for the support he was given.

“I am truly grateful for the confidence that the citizens have placed in me,” Bennett said. “I promise to work diligently for all of Newton County and I am excited to bring my skills and abilities to this new position.”

Since Bennett is a Democrat and no Republican qualified for the race, he will presumptively take office in January 2025.

Bennett will succeed incumbent Marcus Jordan, who unsuccessfully ran for Newton County chairman during the primary election.

Lindsey to become District 3 commissioner

Lindsey had firm control throughout the election night, never giving up the lead at any point.

The District 3 commissioner-elect finished with 863 votes (62.58 percent). 

Sanders, who has held the District 3 commissioner seat since 2021, finished the runoff race with 516 votes (37.42 percent).

The pair went to a runoff after 33 votes separated the two during the primary election.

In total, 1,379 votes were cast in the runoff, which is short of the over 2,100 votes that were accounted for in the previous election.

In an interview with The News, Lindsey said that she is “excited” and “ready to work.”

The new commissioner-elect vowed to focus on some immediate goals that she plans to focus on before she even steps foot in office.

“Basically the Westside Youth Facility, the taxation issues that our community is facing as well as the zoning issues that are facing District 3 with the actual high density developments,” Lindsey said. “Those are the first three.”

When asked how she will address the issue of unity across the board, Lindsey stated that new representation should be the solution. 

“I think that a change in the representation on the board is going to address the unity [issue]," Lindsey said.  "I’ve said this before, [from] 2017-20 we didn’t have an issue. That was the most unified board we had ever had, they were very successful in getting a lot of stuff accomplished. Their goals that they set during that time period and the things that they achieved during that time period manifested itself after 2021.

“But when we had the new representative on the board in 2021, that’s when we had an issue with the unity.”

No Republican candidates qualified for the seat, which leads the path for Lindsey to take office in January 2025.

Lindsey provided her thanks and appreciation to the residents in District 3.

“A humongous, humongous, humongous… I can say that 20 times… a humongous thank you to the individuals in District 3 for seeing a need for us to do something different and for us to buy into a vision for what we can do in District 3.”

A full election update recap can be found here.