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Four-way tax commissioner race down to two
tax commissioner runoff

NEWTON COUNTY – The tax commissioner race in Newton County is now down to two candidates following the May 21 Democratic primary election.

Top-two vote getters, Brent Bennett and Avis Williams, will advance to a runoff on Tuesday, June 18 after neither candidate received the majority vote.

Per the unofficial results, Bennett was the top vote getter at 2,688 votes (31.03 percent) with Williams coming in second at 2,578 votes (29.76 percent).

Marilyn Williams finished with 2,093 votes (24.16 percent) while Margaret Smith ended the race with 1,304 votes (15.05 percent).

Incumbent Marcus Jordan decided not to run for reelection, as he instead ran for chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners. He was unsuccessful in that bid.

No Republicans ran in this race, meaning the tax commissioner seat will be decided at the June 18 runoff.

The Covington News reached out to both candidates and heard back from both.

Bennett used the opportunity to thank his supporters.

“I wanna say a congratulatory thanks to all four candidates. It was a tough race, a clean race,” Bennett said. “I would like to say the citizens that hopefully they choose to support me as the most experienced candidate, with tax commissioner experience. I’ve been working in the tax commissioner’s office and in that market for over 20 years.

“I gotta thank the people that came out and supported me and voted for me. My family that’s supported me here, my volunteers, my campaign volunteers, my election committee as well as the voters.”

Williams shared a similar sentiment in an emailed statement to The News.

​​”I am humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to run for office, to serve the citizens of Newton County,” Williams said. “There were four extremely qualified persons in the race and I was blessed beyond measure getting to know two that I'd not met until the campaign started.  Thanks to all who prayed for me and supported me with your vote. We are headed to a runoff and my desire remains, to serve Newton County as the next elected Tax Commissioner.”