Low turnout marred Tuesday’s local runoff elections, but the end result was Board of Commissioners Democratic incumbent J.C Henderson will continue to serve, and David Belton will be the Republican candidate for Georgia District 112.
“This has been a very light turnout, but early voting (was) reasonably good,” said Hugh Steele, chairman of the Newton County Board of Elections. Absentee ballots were through the roof at 411.
Henderson, the county’s longest-tenured commissioner, will continue that streak after defeating challenger Sonya Hunte 513 to 308, according to unofficial results Tuesday night. Only two absentee ballots were challenged, neither of them in the eight county precincts that make up District 4.
Henderson voiced nothing but respect for his opponent.
“They ran a really good campaign and I’ve been in a few,” he said, moments after she gave him a congratulatory hug. “It was one of the best campaigns I’ve run against; she was very nice. We just thank God that we won and we will continue the next four years the goals the people of District 4 have for me.”
There is no Republican candidate on the November ballot, so the seat is again Henderson’s.
Hunte said the race has whetted her interest in helping the county in the future.
“It’s been a great experience,” she said. “The people that I’ve visited with in their living rooms, on their porches, at local churches, it’s been awesome. It’s been awesome to listen to the vision that local citizens have for the county and their part in it.
“I’ll continue to be a community volunteer, particular for programs focused on children and youth. Anywhere I can lend my hand to bettering Newton County, I will. I would be honored to use my skills and talents to move Newton County forward in any capacity.”
In the May primary, Henderson was just nine votes short of a straight majority, but Hunte received 30.78 percent of the vote to force Tuesday’s runoff.