Tuesday’s local elections decided a number of races in Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties.
In Hephzibah, incumbent Frank Godbee secured a new term as a member of the Hephzibah Commission. Godbee took 324 votes, or 75.17 percent of the vote. Challenger and political newcomer Julius Lee Harris, Jr. received 107 votes, 24.83 of the ballots cast.
Incumbents Jody Boulineau and Robert Buchwitz ran unopposed for their Hephzibah Commission seats, and each received more than 97 percent of votes cast. Fewer than 10 write-in votes were cast in either race. Turnout in the Hephzibah races was 18.81 percent.
Grovetown will welcome a new city council member at the beginning of the year.
Dr. Deborah Fisher took the most votes to win the race for one of two seats in Tuesday’s municipal elections. Incumbent councilwoman Sylvia Martin will also keep her seat with a narrow victory of just two votes over candidate Allen Transou.
“I am very thankful and very happy for the citizens of Grovetown because they voted for their voice,” Fisher said after the unofficial results were reported by the Columbia County Board of Elections.
Of the 1,156 ballots cast, Fisher earned a total of 329 votes for 28.46 percent.
Martin pulled out ahead with a total of 304 votes for 26.30 percent of the vote, in a victory that she said took her by surprise.
“I am ecstatic. I am very happy. I was very worried there for a while when two of the precincts had reported and I was down by some votes, so I was really preparing myself to lose, so I am just ecstatic,” Martin said.
Incumbent Vickie Cook earned a total of 143 votes for 12.37 percent of the vote and candidate David Payne earned just 76 votes for 6.57 percent of the vote.
In Harlem, Roxanne Whitaker earned 97 percent of the 356 ballots cast, running unopposed in the mayoral race.
And no changes are in store for the Harlem city council.
Mayor Pro Tem incumbent John Thigpen secured just over 40 percent of the vote with a total of 278 ballots. Fellow councilman Danny Bellavance will also keep his seat after receiving 29.84 percent of the vote over candidate Al Reeves, who garnered 28.82 percent.
In Aiken, political newcomer Ed Woltz topped Democrat JoAnn Tillman Hooper for the District 6 Aiken City Council seat in Tuesday’s general election.
Woltz got 434 votes, 69 percent, to Hooper’s 196, 31 percent, according to the Aiken County Board of Elections.
Andrea Neira Gregory won unopposed in District 5, where she got 146 votes and 11 write-in votes were cast. District 5 incumbent Steve Homoki did not seek re-election.
Two seats were already settled because only one person filed to run.
Republican Ed Girardeau was the only candidate for City Council District 4. Incumbent Reggie Ebner decided not to seek re-election. Democratic incumbent Lessie Price was the only candidate to file for her District 2 seat.
Citywide, turnout was 8.5 percent, according to the Board of Elections.