Big races could be headed for runoffs in August

Oversized political signs line the street at Washington and Boy Scout roads in Augusta.

The winners in big races in Tuesday’s primary elections could come down to runoffs in August.

Two primary races – the Demo­cratic contest for Richmond County sheriff and the Republican contest for 12th Congressional District –
have four candidates running each.

In the U.S. House race, Republicans Rick W. Allen, Lee Anderson, Wright McLeod and Maria Sheffield are running for the opportunity to face Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow in November.

In the Democratic primary, voters will see four sheriff’s candidates on their ballots: school Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree and three current sheriff’s employees, Lt. John Ivey, Capt. Scott Peebles and Lt. Robbie Silas.

The Republican sheriff’s race between Mike Godowns, a former sheriff’s deputy and insurance agent who works as a security officer at Plant Vogtle, and lawyer Freddie Sanders is expected to result in an outright winner, but many observers don’t expect as much from the Democratic race.

With four candidates in the mix, it will be difficult for anyone to gather the majority of the votes required. A similar outcome is expected in the Republican U.S. House race.

If no one candidate gets a clear majority in those contests, the top two vote getters will meet again for a runoff election Aug. 21, according to Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey.

Bailey said those who vote in either party’s primary will be limited to voting in the same party’s runoff.

Voters also will get to decide on funding for transportation projects in their region. If it is passed, Richmond County is projected to collect $277.5 million over 10 years from the 1-cent sales tax.

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