May 21, 2014

Primary is over, but runoffs loom

— Anyone who runs for elected office gives up some of his or her time and privacy. And if they win they get the chance to give even more of their time and privacy. And for some local part-time positions, that’s about all they get.

So we want to thank all of the men and women who offered themselves up for elected office in Tuesday’s primary in Whitfield and Murray counties. Some of them, barring any independent challenges, will be unopposed on the November ballot and thus are expected to take office next year. We wish them well in office and hope that they will make all of their decisions with the best interests of the entire community.

But for others, the primary isn’t really over. They will go to a runoff on July 22.

In the race for Conasauga Superior Court, for instance, incumbent Judge David Blevins will face Dalton Municipal Court Judge Jim Wilbanks in a nonpartisan runoff. The Conasauga circuit includes both Whitfield and Murray counties.

In Whitfield County, Renee Davis faces Barry Robbins in a runoff for the Republican nomination for board of commissioners District 1. No Democrat qualified in that race.

And at the state level, there will be a number of runoffs on the July ballot:

n U.S. Senate, Republican: Jack Kingston and David Perdue.

n State School Superintendent, Republican: Michael Buck and Richard Woods.

n State School Superintendent, Democrat: Alisha Morgan and Valerie Wilson.

All of these men and women will be out there working hard to win votes, but the fact is that runoffs typically have much lower turnout than the primaries and general elections that precede them. Yet the winners of all these races could have tremendous impact on our lives.

We ask that voters don’t forget these runoffs.