Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
McDuffie County Tax Commissioner Sandra Whitaker handily won her reelection bid against former Election Superintendent Phyllis Wheeler. Mrs. Whitaker celebrated her lead early in the night at the McDuffie County Court House where election results were tallied.
State Senate Candiate Jim Whitehead talks with McDuffie County Board of Education Chairman Tommy Phelps during a meet-and-greet session in Thomson last week.
Photo by Jerrie MacIntire
With nearly 92 percent of the votes counted on Wednesday morning, Mrs. Whitaker led with 63 percent of the ballots cast in her favor. Ms. Wheeler garnered 37 percent.
"The people that I have talked to have all been very supportive, but you never know," Mrs. Whitaker said. "I really didn't know what to expect, but I'm happy with the results."
Plans for her next term include continuing with the status quo in the tax office.
"We'll just keep on keeping on," she said.
Voter turnout was higher than normal in McDuffie, according to Election Superintendent Tiffany Neal. But problems with a server in the elections office kept officials from having a concrete figure of the number of registered voters who made it to the polls.
"We had to switch out our server, and it didn't have all the information on it that we needed," Ms. Neal said Wednesday morning. "So we had to do a manual entry."
Because of the technical difficulties, election results trickled in to the small crowd on hand in the courthouse awaiting their candidate's fate. Results were still not final by Wednesday morning.
But the large volume of votes indicated to Ms. Neal that voters came out in droves because of the hotly contested elections.
"Just because of the issues that were at hand and everything with the war going on, everybody just wanted to be heard," she said.
In addition to the tax commissioner race, another contested election that affected McDuffie County was the 24th State Senate race between Jim Whitehead and Chuck Pardue. Mr. Whitehead claimed victory with 70 percent of the entire district's vote to Mr. Pardue's 30 percent.
The race was just a little closer within McDuffie County with 63 percent of the ballots cast in favor of Mr. Whitehead.
Others winning unopposed races were State House District 124 representative Sistie Hudson, District Attorney Dennis Sanders, Clerk of Court Connie Cheatham, Sheriff Logan Marshall, Coroner Donnie Crawford, County Commissioners Darrell Wester and Bob Farr and Commission Chairman Charlie Newton.
Board of Education elections were also unopposed. Paul Leroy was elected to his first term on the BOE. Nether Ivery, Virginia Bradshaw and Jerry Randolph were reelected to their posts on the board.
In federal elections, Republicans swept the balloting in McDuffie County. President George W. Bush received 62 percent of the vote in McDuffie; Senator-elect Johnny Isakson received 65 percent. Congressman Charlie Norwood earned 68 percent of the McDuffie vote.