Analysis: City voters picked most winners

Published 1:07 am Thursday, March 15, 2012

In most political races decided Tuesday in Covington County, as the county’s two largest municipalities went, so went the races.

Eventual winners Amy Jones (circuit clerk), Carl Turman (county commission) and Sonny Thomasson (county board of education) each was most popular with voters in Andalusia and Opp, as was Joe Barton, who won a slot in the April 24 runoff with Randall McCart.

For link to Box-by-box results, click here.

For link to box-by-box commission results, click here.

Jones only got 52 percent of the vote county wide in her race against Stephanie Cotton, and Cotton carried the totals in 16 of the county’s 29 voting places. But Jones got 58 percent of the votes cast in both Andalusia and Opp to give her a 4 percent margin in the final totals.

Turman won by less than 1 percent Tuesday in his bid for a third term on the Covington County Commission, District 4, and carried 15 of the 29 voting boxes. In Andalusia, Turman got only 16 more votes than challenger Allen Lucas, but a big win in Opp, where Turman got 67 percent of the votes cast, put him slightly over the top.

Thomasson, the current mayor of Sanford, was evenly tied with board of education incumbent John Clark in Rose Hill, where each received 94 votes. Similarly, each man won 14 of the county’s 29 voting boxes. In Opp, Thomasson was only one vote ahead of Clark, but in Andalusia, a 124-vote lead contributed to his 202-vote, 2-percentage-point win.

Barton, in the race for county commission, District 2, led McCart by 11 percentage points in Andalusia and 9 percentage points in Opp. But he didn’t reach the 50-percent plus one vote mark needed to be elected without a runoff. Barton carried nine boxes in the county; McCart won 14 boxes; and Tony Wells won six.

Kylan Lewis and Bill Godwin, who will meet in a runoff to determine the next chairman of the Covington County Commission, should get themselves to Opp, where current Commission Chairman Lynn Sasser, who ran a very close third countywide, won handily. Sasser got 58 percent of the votes cast in Opp, while the other contenders each got 21 percent.

Lewis, who received 36 percent of the total votes cast, won 14 boxes and led Godwin by 240 votes. In turn, Godwin got 33 percent of the votes cast, and led Sasser by only 101 votes.

In County Commission District 1, voters in Andalusia and Opp were both pleased with the incumbent, David Ellis, who got 61 and 62 percent of the votes cast there, respectively. But strong showings in the rural areas of the county gave challenger Ken Northey the race, which he won by 6 percentage points.

In the District 3 race for county commission, Opp voters also were satisfied with the incumbent, Harold Elmore, who won a third term. But in Andalusia, challenger Joe Bush got 52 percent of the votes cast. Bush carried 16 of the county’s 29 voting boxes, but Elmore won by 2 percentage points.

Long-time politicos who were watching returns in the courthouse Tuesday night agreed that they had never seen so many races that were so close.

The only decisive win went to Ben Bowden, who won his first elected term as probate judge. Bowden had 64 percent of the votes cast, while challenger Lee Enzor got 36 percent of the votes