New­ton County goes with Huck­abee and Obama

Res­i­dents back Tax ref­er­en­dum by 87 per­cent

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

New­ton County Democrats voted over­whelm­ing in fa­vor of Barack Obama Tues­day night in the pres­i­den­tial pri­mary while Mike Huck­abee car­ried the county’s Repub­li­can vote.

Huck­abee re­ceived 42 per­cent of the Repub­li­can vote and Obama re­ceived nearly 73 per­cent of the Demo­cratic votes cast.

County res­i­dents voted strongly in fa­vor of a ref­er­en­dum to in­crease the cur­rent Board of Ed­u­ca­tion home­stead ex­emp­tion from $20,000 to $30,000 and to in­crease the in­come cap of se­niors el­i­gi­ble to qual­ify for the ex­emp­tion to $25,000 by a wide mar­gin of 87 per­cent.

Nearly 46 per­cent of the county’s 46,440 reg­is­tered vot­ers cast bal­lots on Tues­day, an un­usu­ally high num­ber for a pri­mary elec­tion but not un­sur­pris­ing when con­sid­er­ing the amount of na­tional at­ten­tion and ex­cite- ment this pres­i­den­tial race has re­ceived.

In a sur­prise for what has been a solidly Repub­li­can county for some time now, New­ton County Democrats turned out in greater num­bers than Repub­li­cans to cast their bal­lots on Tues­day. A to­tal of 11,394 bal­lots were cast for Demo­cratic can­di­dates com­pared to 9,732 votes for Repub­li­can can­di­dates.

The county’s party turnout par­al­lel’s a high party turnout among Democrats na­tion­wide who have shown great en­thu­si­asm for the party’s two front run­ners, Barack Obama and Hil­lary Clin­ton, in com­par­i­son to the Repub­li­can Party which has yet to rally around one can­di­date.

Clin­ton came a dis­tant sec­ond to Obama in the county, cap­tur­ing only 25 per­cent of the vote.

The re­main­ing Demo­cratic can­di­dates cap­tured only 2 per­cent of the Demo­cratic vote: John Ed­wards, 165 votes; Bill Richard­son, 20 votes; Joe Bi­den, 18 votes; Den­nis Kucinich, 14 votes; Chris Dodd, 11 votes; Mike Gravel, two votes.

Mitt Rom­ney came in sec­ond place with county Repub­li­can vot­ers, cap­tur­ing 28 per­cent of the vote. John McCain placed third, cap­tur­ing 26 per­cent of the vote.

The re­main­ing Repub­li­can can­di­dates came up with a smat­ter­ing of votes: Ron Paul, 183 votes; Rudy Gi­u­liani, 79 votes; Fred Thompson, 36 votes; Alan Keys, 15 votes; Dun­can Hunter, 11 votes; Tom Tan­credo, three votes.

Clin­ton won the ab­sen­tee vote for Democrats with 65 bal­lots and McCain won the Repub­li­can ab­sen­tee vote with 41 bal­lots.

In the tax

ref­er­en­dum 17,419 bal­lots were cast in fa­vor of the mea­sure com­pared to only 2,687 bal­lots against.

Statewide re­sults

Early un­of­fi­cial re­sults had Obama lead­ing Clin­ton with 63 per­cent of the statewide vote on Tues­day. Clin­ton won 34 per­cent of the vote in the race. A to­tal of 87 del­e­gates are tied to the pri­mary, which will be di­vided based on the per­cent­age of votes re­ceived.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­leased on Tues­day, Clin­ton’s sup­port came pri­mar­ily from coun­ties in North Ge­or­gia while Obama won nearly ev­ery cen­tral county and a ma­jor­ity of south­ern coun­ties as well.

On the Repub­li­can side, Huck­abee was only nar­rowly lead­ing McCain in the statewide pri­mary race at press time with a 35 per­cent to 32 per­cent edge. Rom­ney fol­lowed the pair closely in third with nearly 29 per­cent of the vote.

Huck­abee had a solid show­ing the north­ern coun­ties as well as the cen­tral coun­ties of the state and McCain showed well in the south­west­ern coun­ties and the east­ern coun­ties.

For the Repub­li­can can­di­dates, 72 del­e­gates are at stake in Ge­or­gia.

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