Voters in Bryan County’s District 1 will head back to the polls Dec. 4 to decide just who will represent them on the Board of Commissioners for the next four years.
According to unofficial results from the Voter Registration Office, Republican challenger Noah Covington garnered 1,104 votes while incumbent Democrat Joe Kendrick netted 637 and former District 1 commissioner and independent challenger Rufus “Ed” Bacon received 547.
“A candidate has to get at least 50 percent plus one to win it outright,” Elections Superintendent Sam Davis said Tuesday night.
The close results, which include mail-in ballots, require a runoff between Covington and Kendrick. More than 2,200 votes were cast in the District 1 race.
Despite the need for a runoff, Covington was thankful for the support he received thus far.
“I appreciate everybody’s support and I thank God,” Covington said. “I thank God for this, he has blessed me with a good family, a lot of good friends and a lot of good support. I am very humbled, and I appreciate everybody’s support.”
Bacon on Wednesday offered congratulations to Covington.
“I’d like to congratulate Noah for running a good race and winning,” he said. “Once again popularity wins over substance. For Joe Kendrick’s concern, I think he should get out of the race and give it to (Covington). He definitely had lost and should save the county the expense of the (runoff) election.”
He also thanked those in the community who offered support throughout his campaign.
“I’d like to thank all my supporters that got out and encouraged and supported me —especially in the black community because they did support me quite well,” Bacon said.
Kendrick declined to comment on the results.
Results are unofficial until certified by the Secretary of State.
Republican challenger Noah Covington is headed for a runoff between either incumbent Joe Kendrick, a Democrat, or challenger Rufus "Ed" Bacon in the race for Bryan County's District 1 county commission seat. Covington received 1,066 votes to Kendrick's 611, according to local election officials. Bacon, a former District 1 commissioner, finished with 513 votes running as an independent.
Mail-in ballots have yet to be counted and results have to be certified by the Georgia Secretary of State's office.