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Incumbent Grady County Sheriff Harry Young prevailed in Tuesday’s runoff and is another step toward earning a fifth term in office.
Sheriff Young defeated challenger Steve Clark by a vote of 1,516 to 1,377 in unofficial returns from Tuesday’s runoff election for the Republican nomination for sheriff.
Young will now face Democratic nominee Donald (Dickie) Thomas in November’s general election.
“I’m thrilled with the win. I knew it would be a lower turnout for the runoff and that can get you beat. However, I had a lot of folks behind me and I knew I had enough of a following that we would win out. I congratulate Steve. He certainly ran a good race and I’m proud for him. Now we will move on to November, but I think we can win,” Sheriff Young said Tuesday night.
Young said he admired his Democratic opponent and said that he had served well as one of his deputies. “He was a good deputy,” the sheriff said.
Clark actually won the election day vote by 80 votes, but Sheriff Young won the advance vote as well as the mail-in absentee vote overwhelmingly by a margin of 219 votes, with Clark coming up short by 139 votes.
Only 2,893 total ballots were cast in the runoff compared to 4,122 in the June 9 primary.
“I want each and everyone of you that supported us throughout this campaign to hold your heads high along with us. We may not have gotten the results we wanted tonight but we have to know in our hearts that while we were on this campaign the Lord did much of his work through us. You showed your community that there is still a desire for change. We can hope that Sheriff Young realizes that there are many people in this community that are fed up with the preferential treatment, and special favors that the sheriff’s office continues to do for some and not others. Grady County, remember that the sheriff’s office and the employees work for you,” Clark stated to The Messenger Tuesday night.
He added, “I appreciate everyone that was part of this process and most of all the good Lord above. We are definitely not done.”
An examination of Tuesday’s unofficial returns for election day voting shows that Sheriff Young won in Cairo 4, Higdon/Ragan, and Pine Park while Clark won in Blowing Cave/Limesink, Cairo 5, Midway/Duncanville, Spence, Whigham/Springhill, and Woodland.
Just as he did in June, Sheriff Young was successful in getting his supporters to vote early or by absentee in larger numbers than his challenger.