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Newton candidates still awaiting final absentee vote counts to determine winners
Library voters3
County residents wait to cast their ballots Tuesday, June 9, at the Newton County Library voting precinct. -- Tom Spigolon, The Covington News

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a developing story. We will continue to provide updates with the latest election results as they become available.

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County voters appeared to oust an incumbent county commissioner and send other local races to August runoffs in Tuesday's election.

And three candidates were running neck and neck for a Superior Court judgeship in the Alcovy Judicial District that includes Newton County.

However, results were inconclusive as not all absentee ballots had been counted by mid-afternoon Wednesday -- more than 20 hours after the polls closed in Newton County. 

A county spokesman said Newton election officials already had counted a record 14,000 absentee ballots. Officials said they usually count about 4,000 for a primary election but many voters this year chose to use the mail-in method because of safety concerns from the coronavirus.

In a nonpartisan general election, voters in Newton and Walton Counties were choosing between Robert H. Stansfield, Cheveda McCamy and Jeffrey L. Foster to fill a Superior Court judge seat. 

Preliminary vote totals from the Georgia Secretary of State's office showed all three running within tenths of a percentage point of each other for the seat being vacated by Judge Eugene M. Benton. However, all absentee ballots had not been recorded in both counties Wednesday afternoon, according to information from the two election offices.

A separate party primary election Tuesday included Republican and Democratic candidates for every countywide office, as well as three seats on the Newton County Board of Commissioners and two seats on the county school board.
Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom appeared to be easily defeating Clay Ivey, a longtime Conyers police officer, for the Republican nomination for sheriff. Malcom will face off in November against incumbent Sheriff Ezell Brown, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

College professor Alana Sanders appeared to defeat incumbent Nancy Schulz for the Democratic nomination for the District 3 county commission seat. Schulz was seeking a fourth term. If it stands, Sanders will not have a Republican opponent in November. 

Casey Duren and Dorothy Piedrahita were in a close race with Cecil Spencer for the Democratic nomination for the county commission District 5 seat. The winner will face incumbent Commissioner Ronnie Cowan, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination.
Another apparent winner was Catalata Hardeman, who held a sizable lead over Roy Parham III for the Democratic nomination for the District 1 county commission seat. The winner will face incumbent Republican Stan Edwards, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination, in November.

Dorothea Bailey-Butts also held a sizable lead over Gabriel M. White for the Democratic nomination for county coroner. The winner will face incumbent Republican Tommy Davis in November. Davis, who is seeking a fourth term, was unopposed for the GOP nomination.
Marcus Jordan and Roosevelt Winters were vying for the Democratic nomination for tax commissioner in Tuesday's election. Jordan was leading in early returns and will face incumbent Tax Commissioner Dana Darby, a Republican, who was unopposed for the party's nomination. 
Anderson Bailey, Jeffrey Johnson and Michael Syphoe were vying for the Democratic nomination for the District 4 seat on the Newton County School Board. They are seeking to replace the late Almond Turner.

Unopposed for re-election were incumbents Marcello Banes for the chairman's seat on the Newton County Board of Commissioners, as well as Clerk of Superior Courts Linda Hays; Judge of Probate Court Melanie Bell; and District 2 school board member Eddie Johnson.

In Georgia General Assembly races affecting Newton County, Kelly Rose was unopposed for the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Republican Brian Strickland for the State Senate District 17 seat. Lithonia Republican Melanie Williams was unopposed and will face Democratic incumbent Tonya Anderson in November for the State Senate District 43 seat.
House District 112 State Rep. Dave Belton, a Republican, was unopposed and will face Democrat Malcolm Adams of Oxford in November. 

Challenger Sharon Henderson was leading incumbent State Rep. Pam Dickerson for the Democratic nomination for the House District 113 seat. The winner will not face a Republican in November.

Incumbent Hank Johnson squared off against Elaine Amankwah Nietman and William Haston in the Democratic primary for Georgia's 4th Congressional District seat, which covers part of western Newton County. Only 25% of the vote had been recorded as of mid-afternoon today in the multi-county race, according to the Secretary of State's office. The winner will face Republican Johsie Cruz Ezammudeen in November. 

In the 10th Congressional District covering eastern Newton County, Democrats Andrew Ferguson and Tabitha Johnson-Green were seeking the chance to face incumbent Republican Jody Hice in the fall. Not all votes had been counted by mid-afternoon Wednesday in the multi-county race.