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Voters oust longtime Newton commissioner, runoffs set in other races
Counting of absentee ballots delays final decisions
COVINGTON, Ga. — A longtime county commissioner lost her re-election bid while local races for Superior Court judge, county commission and school board will be decided in August after all but a handful of ballots had been counted after Tuesday's election.

Newton election officials finished counting absentee ballots by about 6 p.m. Wednesday — almost a full day after the polls closed at the county's 22 voting precincts.  

A county spokesman said Newton election officials counted a record 14,000 absentee ballots. It was more than three times the usual number for a primary election after many voters this year chose to mail or hand deliver the ballots because of coronavirus safety concerns.

In a nonpartisan general election, voters in Newton and Walton Counties chose Covington attorney Robert H. Stansfield and Monroe attorney Jeffrey L. Foster to go to an Aug. 11 runoff election narrowly over Cheveda McCamy for a Superior Court judge seat in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit. 

Foster tallied 37% of the vote to lead the race. Stansfield received 32% to edge out McCamy, who received 31%, to qualify for the runoff. McCamy led the field over Stansfield in Newton while Foster won handily in Walton. 

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.

SHERIFF: Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom received 84% of the vote to defeat 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.

CORONER: Dorothea Bailey-Butts defeated Gabriel M. White for the Democratic nomination for county coroner. Bailey-Butts will face incumbent Republican Tommy Davis in the November general election. Davis, who is seeking a fourth term, was unopposed for the GOP nomination.

TAX COMMISSIONER: Marcus Jordan defeated Roosevelt Winters for the Democratic nomination for tax commissioner in Tuesday's election. Jordan will face incumbent Tax Commissioner Dana Darby, a Republican, who was unopposed for the party's nomination. 

OTHER COUNTYWIDE OFFICES: 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.

COUNTY COMMISSION: Alana Sanders beat three-term incumbent Nancy Schulz for the Democratic nomination for the District 3 county commission seat. Sanders will not have a Republican opponent in November. 

Schulz said voters were "gracious enough" to elect her three times to the office.

"These last six months (on the commission) I will work as hard as I ever have," she said. "The people have made a decision they want to go in a different direction."

Dorothy Piedrahita and Casey Duren will face off in an August runoff after narrowly defeating 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, in November.

Catalata Hardeman defeated Roy Parham III for the Democratic nomination for the District 1 county commission seat. Hardeman will face incumbent Republican Stan Edwards, who was unopposed for the GOP nomination, in November.

COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD: Anderson Bailey and Jeffrey Johnson qualified for an Aug. 11 runoff over Michael Syphoe for the Democratic nomination for the District 4 seat on the Newton County School Board. They are seeking to replace the late Almond Turner.

GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Sharon Henderson of Covington hung on to defeat five-term incumbent State Rep. Pam Dickerson of Conyers 51% to 49% for the Democratic nomination for the House District 113 seat. 

Henderson, a Covington pastor, won by 170 votes out of 11,000 cast in the two-county district. She will not face a Republican opponent in November.

In other 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. 

U.S. HOUSE: In the 10th Congressional District covering eastern Newton County, Tabitha Johnson-Green defeated Andrew Ferguson for the Democratic nomination.

Johnson-Green will face incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Jody Hice in the fall.  

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 50% of the vote had been recorded in the multi-county race by last week, according to the Secretary of State's office. 

The winner will face Republican Johsie Cruz Ezammudeen in November.