GRADY COUNTY SHERIFF Harry Young, left, and Cairo Police Investigator Tyron Griffin watch as results are posted Tuesday night.
It was after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday before the final results of Tuesday’s primary election in Grady County were known, ending a stressful and trying day for local election officials and poll workers.
With a larger number of mailed absentee ballots than ever before in a local election and a totally new voting system being used for the inaugural time here, obtaining the final numbers proved to be challenge.
Grady County Election Superintendent Denise Maddox admitted there were complications Tuesday, but said for the most part the election went well. She voiced her appreciation for her poll managers and poll workers who helped manage Tuesday’s election.
“This was all new for everyone across the state,” Maddox said.
It was a big night for incumbents and one incumbent came within a few percentage points of avoiding a runoff.
According to unofficial returns, Grady County Sheriff Harry Young garnered 49.5 percent of the vote with 2,042 votes in a crowded field, which included three other candidates. Coming in a strong second was former sheriff’s office investigator Steve Clark with 1,526 votes. He was followed by Duke Donaldson with 357 and Jared Evans with 197.
Based on the unofficial returns, Young and Clark will face off in a runoff scheduled for Aug. 11. Neither candidate was available for comment late Tuesday night.
Grady County Tax Commissioner Barbara Darus spent Tuesday evening with her grandchildren, according to supporters, and avoided the spotlight, but when the final tally was received she had defeated challenger Bobby Newmons, 2,032 – 1,929.
Darus was not available for comment Tuesday night.
Incumbent Grady County Commissioners June Knight and Keith Moye won the nomination of their party Tuesday night.
District 1 Commissioner Knight defeated challenger Richard Jordan by 50 votes, 557 – 507.
“My family and friends truly came out to support me. I am so appreciative for everything that was done and said on my behalf. I could not have won without tremendous support from my family, friends and neighbors,” Commissioner Knight said.
She will now face the lone Democrat in the District 1 race, Ralph Harris, in November.
District 3 Commissioner Keith Moye, who is currently chairman of the county commission, handily defeated Celina Sholar for the District 3 post, 612 – 199.
“This was an unusual time to try and campaign for public office. I was not able to run the type campaign I would have liked, but I am so grateful for the vote and support of my community. I am looking forward to continuing to serve as the District 3 commissioner,” Moye said Tuesday.
District 4 incumbent Commissioner LaFaye Copeland was unchallenged for the Democratic nomination and Charles Renaud was unopposed for the Republican nomination. Those two will face off in November for the District 4 seat.