Godwin wins by 15 votes

Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday’s Republican primary election runoff was another close race that ended with William “Bill” Godwin and Joe Barton declared as winners.

At the end of the night, Godwin pulled out a narrow victory over Kylan Lewis to win the seat of Covington County Commission Chairman.

Only 15 votes separated the two men, as Godwin earned 2,149 votes or 50.18 percent against Lewis’ 2,134 votes.

“I’m both humbled and honored at the voters of Covington County who placed their trust in me to be the next chairman,” Godwin said. “I’m going to do my best to be a good, effective leader, and I look forward to getting to work when the time comes.”

Lewis said he enjoyed the race.

“I’ve met a lot of nice people, and I’m a better person for having run,” he said. “I hope the county is a better county after this race.”

In the race for District 2 Commissioner, Barton defeated Randall McCart by 121 votes. He earned 2,195 ballots, or 51.44 percent, to McCart’s 2,072 votes.

Barton and McCart described the race as “close, but clean.”

“I really enjoyed it,” McCart said. “I thank the people who supported me, and I thank God. He was with me the whole way.”

“For once, I’m about speechless,” Barton said of his win. “I want to thank everyone who supported me. Turnout was good for this election. It was close, but we ran a good, clean race. I look forward to getting down to business.”

Probate Judge Ben Bowden said Barton’s description of voter turnout was correct. There were 4,267 votes cast during this election, bringing voter turnout to the predicted 20 percent.

“The local races generated a lot of interest,” Bowden said. “Our average is a little higher than is normally seen in the state, and I take that as an encouraging sign that our citizens take the right to vote very seriously – although we’d love to see turnout higher.”

Bowden said the runoff election cost approximately $25,000; however, since there was a state race on the ballot, the county will be reimbursed an estimated 50 percent of the cost.

“So, locally, we’re looking between $10,000 and $12,000,” he said.

Bowden said no provisional ballots were cast in the election.