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Newton to have two runoff elections
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The Primary Election is over, but two races have yet to be decided and some Newton County voters will have to head back out to the polls for an August runoff election if they want to have a final say.

The Republican primary for the District 5 board of commissioners seat and the Democratic primary for the District 113 state representative seat will both have runoff elections as no single candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.

The official runoff election date will be Aug. 21, but there will be early voting, though Angela Mantle, assistant director of the Newton County Board of Elections, said she didn't yet know when early voting would be offered. The local board was still working on finalizing results Thursday.

The state representative District 113 race has no Republican candidates, so whoever wins the election will win the seat. Incumbent Pam Dickerson of Conyers will face Sharon Sawyer of Covington.

Dickerson won the majority of votes in Rockdale County's single precinct, capturing 356 votes to Sawyer's 67, but the results were much closer in Newton's 10 precincts, where Dickerson took 1,603 votes to Sawyer's 1,445.

Collins received a total of 1,185 votes, so the race is very much up for grab depending on who gets those votes.

The Republican District 5 board of commissioners race was even closer as Ronnie Dimsdale and Levie Maddox tied with 740 votes a piece (29.8 percent), in the race to replace Tim Fleming.

The other contenders, Wesley Dowdy and Jared Rutberg, captured a combined 1,003 votes, meaning more than 40 percent of the total vote is up for grabs in a runoff.

However, runoffs historically have much lower turnouts than regular elections, and it's unclear how many of the 17,070 voters will turn out for the rematches.

Any registered voter can vote in the runoff election, even if they didn't vote in the primary. Those who voted in the primary must stick with the same party they voted for the first time, while those who didn't vote (or those who voted nonpartisan) can choose either party.