The only tax professional in the race for Richmond County tax commissioner won't be in the runoff, according to preliminary results from Tuesday's primary election.
Instead, businessman Steven Kendrick and retired city employee Tommy Boyles will vie for the position in the Democratic primary. No Republican filed to run.
With all but the provisional ballots counted, Mr. Kendrick clung to a 716-vote lead over Mr. Boyles late Tuesday.
Neither candidate, however, had more than 50 percent of the vote, throwing the race into a runoff.
"I think that people noticed my background and record," Mr. Kendrick said.
He cited his experience as vice president of Augusta Blueprint and his work in the community, including his chairmanship of the Downtown Development Authority and his work with Richmond County Youth Leadership.
Mr. Boyles, 63, is retired as director of the Augusta Recreation and Parks Department, where he oversaw a $4 million budget and 300 employees. He was the only candidate with political experience in the race, having served as an Augusta commissioner.
"We made the runoff, which is better than I thought I would do against two good candidates," he said.
Mr. Boyles said his decision to run as a Democrat might have hurt him. Many friends and supporters weren't able to cast a vote for him because they voted Republican, he said.
Failing to make the Aug. 5 runoff was Sanford Loyd, a 53-year-old certified public accountant and owner of Sanford Loyd, CPA, PC.
Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.