Davis, Din­gler join Banes as county vic­tors

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - JACKIE GUTKNECHT jgutknecht@cov­news. com

Ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial re­sults re­leased by the Ge­or­gia Sec­re­tary of State’s (SOS) of­fice Tues­day, Demo­crat Mar­cello Banes claimed the Newton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers ( BOC) Chair­man po­si­tion with 50.24 per­cent of the vote mak­ing him the first African Amer­i­can to hold the po­si­tion in Newton County.

With just 201 more votes, Banes beat out Repub­li­can Can­di­date Aaron Varner. Cer­ti­fied elec­tion re­sults were not avail­able as of press time.

“It feels great to win,” Banes said. “First I want to give thanks to my Lord and Sav­ior. I want to thank Team Banes for be­ing there. We want to thank the cit­i­zens of Newton County for choos­ing Mar­cello Banes to be their next chair­man of the board of com­mis­sion­ers.”

While Varner was able to pull the ma­jor­ity vote at 14 of the 24 Newton County precincts, in­clud­ing the Downs precinct which had the largest voter turnout of the day, Banes was able to fill the gap with more votes at the busy Al­mon, Gum Creek, Buck Creek and Crow­ell precincts.

Banes is a Newton County busi­ness­man and served on the cit­i­zen-formed gov­ern­ment com­mit­tee in 2015. Varner pre­vi­ously held the chair­man po­si­tion from 2001 to 2008.

More than 76 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers made their way out to the lo­cal polls. A to­tal of 44,341 bal­lots were cast in Newton County. This is more than the 43,435 votes cast in the 2012 Gen­eral Elec­tion.

Newton County’s votes had not been cer­ti­fied as of Fri­day. Pro­vi­sional bal­lots were not in­cluded in the to­tals pro­vided by the SOS data.

In­cum­bent holds coroner po­si­tion

In­cum­bent Can­di­date Tommy Davis holds his po­si­tion as Newton County Coroner.

Davis beat out Demo­cratic Can­di­date Dorthea Bai­ley- Butts by 2,804 votes for his third straight term as coroner. Bai­ley-Butts is a reg­is­tered nurse and was run­ning for coroner for the first time.

“I’d like to thank the cit­i­zens of Newton County for al­low­ing me to con­tinue to serve them as their coroner,” Davis said. “I look for­ward to serv­ing them for the next four years with the same com­pas­sion and dig­nity that I have for the last eight.”

Davis owns Har­wellWheeler Funeral Home.

Din­gler keeps tax com­mis­sioner seat

Bar­bara Din­gler, in­cum­bent, claims the Newton County Tax Com­mis­sioner seat with 53.58 per­cent of the vote. She beat out Demo­cratic Can­di­date Casey Duren.

Dinger be­came the tax com­mis­sioner in 1999. She has more than 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the tax com­mis­sioner’s of­fice.

“Thank you to all the cit­i­zens who voted for me and I will con­tinue to give you the best ser­vice,” Din­gler said Tues­day night.

Duren is the owner and op­er­a­tor of Rapid Tax Ser­vice in Newton County. He has pre­vi­ously worked with the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of La­bor.

Sen­a­tor re­match flips re­sults

Demo­cratic Can­di­date Tonya Anderson over­took In­cum­bent Jan­ice Van Ness in the District 43 State Sen­a­tor elec­tion. Anderson was able to claim 70.42 per­cent of the vote, in the sec­ond time the can­di­dates have faced off.

Van Ness was able to over­throw Anderson in a spe­cial elec­tion in De­cem­ber, but un­able to hold the ti­tle for an­other full term. Van Ness is a for­mer Rock­dale County com­mis­sioner and is the owner of Peachtree Academy, which has a lo­ca­tion in Newton County.

Anderson is a U.S. Air Force vet­eran, pas­tor and for­mer state rep­re­sen­ta­tive for District 92. She has also pre­vi­ously served as the mayor of Litho­nia.

The Repub­li­can In­cum­bent Tim Echols held his po­si­tion as a Ge­or­gia Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner with 62.19 per­cent of the vote.

Echols was first elected in 2010 for a six year term. He will now start his sec­ond six year term in 2017.

Newton picks Clin­ton, Trump takes over­all

With 50.10 per­cent of the vote lo­cally, Newton County vot­ers se­lected Hil­lary Clin­ton to win the United States Pres­i­den­tial Race, but the ma­jor­ity of the state (51.11 per­cent) voted for the Repub­li­can Can­di­date Don­ald Trump, al­lot­ting Ge­or­gia’s 16 elec­toral votes to the red col­umn.

Newton’s neigh­bors to the east, Rock­dale and Henry, also named Clin­ton as the ma­jor­ity, but to the west, Mor­gan and Wal­ton, went with Trump.

With 270 elec­toral votes needed to win the pres­i­dency, Trump tal­lied a to­tal of 290, while Clin­ton was only able to claim 228.

Bryan Fazio | The Cov­ing­ton News

Mar­cello Banes and sup­port­ers cel­e­brate the win Tues­day night at The Lind­sey Firm.

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