Originally created 11/29/00

Runoff gives Hatney school board seat

Gaining 580 votes more than his opponent, Johnny Hatney will serve the next two years as a Richmond County school board member.

Dr. Hatney and Mildred McDaniel were in a runoff election Tuesday to see who would serve the unexpired term left when District 9 Representative Kingsley Riley resigned in June.

The runoff was necessary because candidates, during a special election, have to gain at least 50 percent of votes.

On Tuesday, Dr. Hatney received 1,889 votes, or 59 percent, while Mrs. McDaniel received 40.93 percent, or 1,309 votes.

During the Nov. 7 election, Dr. Hatney, pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, received 44 percent, or 8,972 votes. Mrs. McDaniel received 28 percent, or 5,767 votes. Challenger Willie W. Law IV received 16 percent of votes, or 3,167, and Venus Cain received 12 percent, or 2,344 votes.

Messages to Dr. Hatney's church and home telephones were not returned Tuesday, nor was a message left with one of his supporters at the city's Municipal Building.

Mrs. McDaniel, however, said she congratulates Dr. Hatney.

"I trust he will take the cause of the children's education very seriously and make it a number one priority of things to do on his agenda," she said.

Voter turnout for the runoff was predictably low, said Lynn Bailey, executive director of the Richmond County Board of Elections.

Of the 35,505 people eligible to vote in the 35 precincts, less than 10 percent voted. District 9 is a super district made up of Districts 1, 2, 4 and 5.

"Historically, board of education runoffs have the lowest turnout of any election," Ms. Bailey said. "I'm not sure why, but that's the trend."

Reach Faith Johnson at (706) 823-3765.


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