10:42 p.m. UPDATE: Jeff Foster will succeed Superior Court Judge Eugene Benton in the Alcovy Circuit after winning Tuesday's runoff against Bob Stansfield.
After absentee ballots were reported in Newton County, Foster finished with a total of 8,637 votes (52.39%) from Newton and Walton counties. Stansfield finished with 7,850 votes (47.61%).
Newton County absentee totals were 3,118 votes for Stansfield and 1,668 votes for Foster.
Walton County absentee totals were 2,299 for Foster and 1,223 for Stansfield.
Foster said he was grateful for the opportunity.
"I am humbled by the outpouring of support and the trust placed in me by the residents of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit," Foster said. "I love this place and will strive to leave it better than I found it, and will honor my promise."
The outcome wasn't what Stansfield hoped for, but he was proud of his campaign and wished Foster well.
"I would have never imagined a judicial campaign marked by a pandemic, date changes, a runoff race and the death of a sitting judge," he said in a statement. "I am grateful for the support of all the people who helped my campaign with their time and treasure and those who voted for me. I am especially indebted to my wife and daughter for their encouragement and their work shoulder to shoulder with me over these many months. I also want to thank my law partner who bore a greater load at the law office and was a constant source of encouragement. I congratulate judge-elect Foster tonight on his election and hope that his tenure on the bench is marked with all the virtues that make a great trial judge."
10:06 p.m. UPDATE: Absentee votes are now being tallied. After more than 3,500 absentee votes were counted, Foster's lead over Stansfield in the race for Superior Court Judge has widened 6,969-4,732. Walton County reports 2,299 absentee votes went to Foster and 1,223 absentee votes went to Stansfield. No absentee votes have been reported in Newton County.
Neither candidate is prepared to declare a winner until absentee ballots are counted.
Foster said there are about 4,500 absentee ballots to be counted in Newton County and about 3,500 in Walton "which means were are at about 50% of the vote counted."
"With 10,000-plus absentee ballots yet to be counted, I am not prepared to make any comments," Stansfield told The Covington News.
9:44 p.m. UPDATE: With all 22 precincts and advanced voting reporting, Anderson Bailey appears to be winner with 310 votes to Jeffrey Johnson’s 210 in the school board race. Piedrahita is beating Duren 243-164 with only absentees left to add in for Democratic nomination for County Commission District 5. The winner will face incumbent Republican Ronnie Cowan in the November general election.
9:32 p.m. UPDATE: With all precincts results now completed, Foster leads Stansfield 4,669-3,509. Foster took 3,207 votes in Walton County (78.87%). Absentee votes have not been counted.
9:22 p.m. UPDATE: Jeff Foster said tonight he felt he had run a "good race" and was waiting to see final results come in from his bid to be a Superior Court judge.
With all precincts in from Newton County and 16 of 21 from Walton, Foster had 55% of the vote over Bob Stansfield in the runoff to succeed Judge Eugene M. Benton.
Foster said it was "a bit early for declarations," with absentee ballots still to be counted, but admitted he was "liking the trend."
9:13 p.m. UPDATE: Foster leads Stansfield 4,070-3,338 in the Superior Court Judge race. With all precincts reporting, Stansfield leads Newton County with 2,650 votes (64.45%); Foster garnered 1,462 votes (35.55%). In Walton County, Foster leads Stansfield with 2,608 votes (79.13%); 16 of 21 precincts. Absentee votes and provisional votes have not been counted.
Piedrahita leads Duren 229-140 in the county commission race while Bailey leads Johnson 277-193 in school board race.
8:47 p.m. UPDATE: Foster leads Stansfield 3,469-2,699. With 13 of 21 precincts reporting in Walton County, Foster has garnered 2,330 of 2,896 total votes cast (80.46%). Stansfield is holding Newton County with 2,133 votes (65.19%), 15 of 22 precincts reporting.
8:26 p.m. UPDATE: Stansfield regains lead on Foster by narrow margin of 1988-1968. With two of 21 precincts reporting, Foster leads Walton County with 1,022 votes (79%). With eight of 22 precincts reporting, Stansfield leads Newton County with 1,726 votes (64.6%) over Foster (946 votes, 35.4%).
In other Newton County races, Bailey leads Johnson 263-166 for the school board vacancy. Piedrahita leads Duren 186-115 for the Democratic nomination for Newton County Board of Commissioners, District 5.
8:22 p.m. UPDATE: Foster now leads Stansfield 1,564-1,322 after the first Election Day votes begin to roll in. Foster gained 268 votes; Stansfield gained only 49.
8:09 p.m. UPDATE: At first report, Stansfield leads Foster in Newton County advance voting 1,060 to 542. Bailey leads Johnson 162-94. Piedrahita leads Duren 149-80.
COVINGTON, Ga. — Polls have closed for three races featured on the Tuesday, Aug. 11, runoff election ballot in Newton County.
The race for Alcovy Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge included Jeffrey Foster and Robert Stansfield. Foster was the top vote-getter in a three-person election June 9. He led with 17,279 votes (37.32%) followed by Stansfield at 14,765 (31.89%).
In certain areas of Newton County, the following Democratic runoffs were featured on the ballot:
Nominee for Newton County Board of Commissioners, District 5
- Casey Duren
- Dorothy Piedrahita
Nominee for Newton County Schools Board of Education, District 4
- Anderson Bailey
- Jeffrey Johnson
Follow this article for live election results for Newton County.
David Clemons, editor and publisher of The Walton Tribune, contributed to this report.