A whopping 67.69 percent of Grady County voters cast ballots in the Nov. 3 general election, according to Grady County Election Superintendent Denise Maddox.
Locally, the big winners were incumbents, both Democrats and Republicans.
Grady County Sheriff Harry Young, a republican, coasted to reelection by soundly defeating democratic challenger Donald (Dickie) Thomas, 6,478 to 3,956. Young carried every precinct with the exception of Cairo 4 (Holder Park), which was Thomas’ strong hold where he outpaced Young, 201 to 43.
The top vote getter on the ballot, in a contested race, by far was incumbent Coroner Rusty Powe, also a republican, who defeated his democratic challenger, Latasha Copeland, by a vote of 7,510 to 2,989.
Republican District 1 County Commissioner June Knight overwhelmingly defeated democrat Ralph Harris by a margin of 1,808 to 408 to keep her seat on the Grady County Commission.
Democratic District 4 County Commissioner LaFaye Copeland won reelection by defeating her republican challenger, Charles Renaud, 1,305 to 732.
Grady County voters joined with voters in Thomas and Decatur counties to reelect District 173 State Representative Darlene Taylor on Tuesday.
In Grady County, local voters favored Taylor over democrat Booker T. Gainor by a margin of 6,909 to 3,651. Districtwide, Taylor captured nearly 60 percent of the vote, 14,256, to Gainor’s 9,747.
Veteran Second Congressional District U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop once again was not the favorite local candidate, but as The Messenger went to press it appeared Congressman Bishop had won reelection by a sizable margin, 153,668 to 109,401. In Grady County, Cole was the preferred choice with 6,580 votes compared to 3,917 for Bishop.
In the hotly contested U.S. Senate race between incumbent republican David Perdue, democrat Jon Ossoff and libertarian Shane Hazel, Perdue appeared to be the victor. Locally, Perdue was the favorite by far with a margin of 6,962 compared to 3,455 for Ossoff and 146 for Hazel.
In the special election for U.S. Senate, a race that featured 20 candidates, the newly appointed republican Senator Kelly Loeffler will face democrat Raphael Warnock in a runoff to be held in January. Local voters favored republican Doug Collins, who personally campaigned here, 3,473 to Loeffler’s 2,717. Warnock garnered 1,399 votes here.
The presidential contest between incumbent republican President Donald Trump and democrat Joseph R. Biden was undecided as The Messenger went to press. In Grady County, Trump was the clear favorite, with the incumbent earning 7,027 votes to the democratic former vice president’s 3,608.
With tremendous turnout for both advance in-person voting and absentee by mail voting, 2,697 voters came out to vote on election day, according to Elections Superintendent Maddox.
In Grady County, a total of 5,791 votes were cast early during the in-person advance voting period and 2,235 absentee ballots were recorded for a grand total of 10,723.
“I am super thankful for the work that everyone put into the early voting and election day. Their hard work definitely paid off. Election Day was better than I could have asked for. All of our poll workers did an amazing job,” Maddox said.