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Smith, Hart win school board seats; two races head to runoff

Two seats in the McDuffie County Board of Education race were definitely decided and two are yet to be decided after Tuesday's election.

Bob Smith led in all of the Super District 2 precincts over incumbent Paul Leroy, as well as advanced and absentee votes, for a total of 3446 votes, or 73.21 percent, for Mr. Smith and 1251 votes, or 26.58 percent, for Mr. Leroy.

"He's worked awful hard," Mr. Leroy said in a telephone interview after the election. "He started back in April, and he worked extremely hard. I had a good four years. I don't have anything to be sorry for. We accomplished a lot of good things in those four years. ... The Lord will find something else for me do to. He'll close one door, and He'll open another one."

As soon as the polls closed Tuesday, Mr. Smith was seated in the McDuffie County elections office watching as the votes were counted. He didn't appear to relax until it was all over.

"I don't take anything for granted," he said. "I am very, very happy. It's been a long time coming."

Mr. Smith said he walked door-to-door and saw over 92 percent of the people in his district, plus he mailed out cards to all 7,600 voters.

"I saw so many of my old students," the former Thomson High School principal of 19 years said. "They knew me, they recognized me and they voted for me. I believe hard work and going door-to-door made the difference."

In Single District 4, incumbent Dorothy Hart also defeated her opponent in every precinct, for a total of 924 votes, or 76.11 percent, for Mrs. Hart and 286 votes, or 23,56 percent, for Donnie Callaway.

"Thank you to all the voters who supported me," Mrs. Hart said. "I will continue to serve them professionally, caring and honestly. I thank them for allowing me to be their voice for District 4."

The District 5 and District 6 races will each continue in a runoff on Dec. 2. In District 5, the runoff will be between Greg Derry, who had 762 votes, or 48.29 percent, and Frank Locklear, who had 559 votes, or 35.42 percent.

Mr. Derry thanked the voters who supported him, said he was pleased to make it to the runoff and hoped everybody will come back in four weeks to vote again. Mr. Locklear also thanked the voters who supported him and encouraged them to come out and vote again for the runoff.

"And I want to congratulate Mr. Derry and Mrs. Teamer for running a good, clean race," he said.

Three of the six candidates in the District 6 race dominated throughout the evening. The District 6 run-off will be between Dexter Lovins, who had 465 votes, or 28.51 percdnt, and Steve Strouble, who received 445 votes, or 27.28 percent. Lindy Tudor came in very close behind them with 404 votes, or 24.77 percent.

In the Warren County Board of Education election, two seats will have new occupants next year. Former School Superintendent Charles Culver, with 284 votes, or 54.83 percent, defeated incumbent James Newsome, who had 234 votes, or 45.17 percent.

In District 5, Cecil Brown, with 337 votes, or 58.2 percent, won over Samantha Gray, who had 242 votes, or 41.80 percent.

Incumbent Gwendolyn Tucker, who was running unopposed in the District 2 seat, received 383 votes.

Web posted on Thursday, November 06, 2008

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