ELECTION RECAP: A pair of runoffs set for county commission; School Board race decided by 11 votes


Voter turnout in Baldwin County for Tuesday's primary was roughly 20 percent, a respectable number, all things considered.

There were relatively few contested races. In terms of close ones, there were two. Scott Little came within 14 votes of winning the District 5 Board of Commissioners Republican primary outright. Instead, Little finished with 48.6 percent, coming up just short of the necessary "50 percent plus 1 vote" needed to avoid a runoff.

Now, Little will square off in a runoff election next month against Johnny Westmoreland. Westmoreland is the incumbent, someone who is seeking his fourth term. 


CANDIDATE PROFILES: In District 5, Westmoreland seeking a fourth term

Then, there was the District 3 School Board race, which was decided by a grand total of 11 votes. In the race to replace Lyn "Mr. Chandler" Chandler, who previously decided not to run for re-election, Dylan Amerson tallied 350 votes and Beverly Rayford 339. Chandler was still principal at Baldwin High when Amerson graduated from there in 2007. Three years ago, Amerson and wife Kensey bought Huff's Market on Ga. 49, which has become a happening place.

Meanwhile, in the District 4 Board of Commissioners Republican primary, Jay Wright and Andrew Strickland received the most votes and now move on to a runoff. District 4's current county commissioner – Henry Craig – previously decided not to seek another term.

No Democrats qualified for the District 4 and 5 county commission elections back in March, meaning that the winners of the two runoffs are assured of winning the general election. In other words, here's how the new-look county commission will look in January:

• District 1 – Emily Davis (Democrat, running unopposed)

• District 2 – Kendrick Butts (Democrat, running unopposed)

• District 3 – Sammy Hall (Republican, running unopposed)

• District 4 – Strickland or Wright

• District 5 – Little or Westmoreland


CANDIDATE PROFILES: District 4's next county commissioner to be decided

A very interesting general election race is shaping up for the State House of Representatives District 149 seat. Republican Ken Vance picked up 2,108 votes in the GOP primary in Baldwin County, while Democrat Floyd Griffin garnered 1,595 votes, locally. District wide, however, there were actually more Democrat votes recorded than Republican votes...

The new-look District 149 is a result of the civil rights gerrymandering lawsuit that finally was settled earlier this year, all in an effort to create more majority-African American General Assembly districts in Macon. The new district is much more "Democrat friendly," relative to the district that Vance has represented in the last two years.

District 149 basically includes everything in Baldwin County west of the Oconee River, a snaky sliver of south Jones County, as well as a section of East Macon...

That particular stretch of Macon includes roughly 10,000 registered voters. Overall, African Americans comprise roughly half of the current registered voters in the district, while roughly 42 percent are white. This will be much more challenging for Vance's re-election campaign. Roughly 56 percent of the voters in Vance's old district were white during the 2022 general election.

Vance was on the City Council for 30 years and also was the longtime director of public safety at Georgia College & State University.

In 1994, Griffin became the first African-American since Reconstruction elected to the state senate in Georgia from a majority white district. Eight years later, Griffin became Milledgeville's first African-American mayor. Since then, however, Griffin hasn't fared so well in campaigns. He came up short in two subsequent mayoral elections, and he also came up short in a 2010 run for state senate and a 2016 bid for state representative. Griffin then finished fourth out of five democrats in the 2022 Secretary of State primary.

Meanwhile, Rick Williams defeated marijuana leaf jacket enthusiast Leland Olinger in the State Senate District 25 GOP primary with 87.6 percent of the vote overall, as well as a whopping 93 percent of the vote here in Baldwin County.

Williams is now assured another term under the Gold Dome, as no Democrats chose to qualify earlier this year.

1 1
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified