MONROE, Ga. — The long race to serve on the Superior Court bench will go on a little longer.
After elections officials in both Newton and Walton counties needed a full day to tally mailed-in absentee ballots, the race appeared to have settled on Monroe attorney Jeff Foster and Covington attorney Bob Stansfield as the top two vote-getters.
They will meet in an Aug. 11 runoff.
Walton County added the results from more than 10,000 absentee ballots at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, a full day after polls closed. Those numbers didn’t change the lead — Foster remained on top — but appeared to nudge Stansfield ahead of Flint Circuit prosecutor Cheveda McCamy for the spot in the runoff.
With all precincts reporting and more than 20,000 absentee ballots counted between the two counties that comprise the Alcovy Judicial Circuit, Foster led with 17,243 votes (37.32%).
Stansfield had 14,740 votes (31.9%) and McCamy was slightly behind at 14,223 votes (30.78%).
“I am honored at the thought of over 17,000 people voting for me and trusting in me,” Foster said Wednesday night. “I look forward to getting to know more of you all over the next two months and ask for your continued support.
“As I have noted on social media, I have greatly enjoyed meeting and talking with Ms. Cheveda McCamy. When we seal this up on Aug. 11, I have a pretty strong hunch that one of these days thereafter, Ms. McCamy and I will get to work together. Job well done Ms. McCamy!”
McCamy was gracious after holding the second-place spot until the Walton numbers pushed Stansfield ahead.
“We ran a strong race in two counties for Superior Court judge and the results have stayed very close,” McCamy said. “While we are disappointed with the outcome, we are grateful for the support and excited to see so many of our community members who want to see fairness and experience in their court system.
“I will continue to serve this community that I am proud to call my home.”
Foster ran up a huge advantage in Walton County, where he also serves as the judge of Municipal Court in Social Circle. He had just under 54% of the vote locally, while McCamy barely broke 40% to lead the field in Newton.