COVINGTON — Democrat Lanier Sims beat Ricky Corley by 165 votes in the race for District 2 Board of Commissioners in Tuesday's general election.
A total of 5,675 votes were cast, with Sims taking 51.44 percent to Corley's 48.53 percent, based on final tallies posted at the Board of Elections office.
Sims has pledged his first priority as a county commissioner is to get public input. He said he decided to run for office to make sure the people of his district have a voice that's being heard at the local government level.
"I want to thank God first and I want to thank the three ladies in my life: My wife, my mother and my sister. Without them I couldn't have done it," Sims said. "I also want to thank Ricky Corley for a nice, clean race."
Corley said he'd predicted the race would be close.
"The people have spoken and if that's the final tally, we'll just have to accept their decision and move on. You can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results," he said, and then thanked his supporters for their hard work.
Sims is a Newton native and president of Sims Excavating Inc. and a manager for Southern Homes Unlimited LLC, a company that specializes in solving real estate problems.
Sims beat incumbent Earnest Simmons in the July 20 primary.
The Board of Commissioners District 4 race was decided in the July 20 primary, when incumbent J.C. Henderson beat Republican rival Kenneth Hardeman.
As of press time, 59 percent of precincts in the District 17 state Senate seat had reported, with Republican Rick Jeffares with a lead of 62.4 percent over Democrat Jim Nichols. Jeffares took Newton County with 52.84 percent of the vote.
Fifty-three percent of precincts had reported in the state House seat 110 race as of press time, with Republican Andrew Welch III at 66.5 percent. Democrat Rudy Cox took Newton County with 51.75 percent of the vote.
A total of 28,712 ballots were cast for a turnout of 52.96 percent. There are 54,262 active registered voters in Newton.
In the 95th Georgia House race, Democrat Pam Dickerson of Conyers also had a comfortable lead over her Republican opponent, Rodney Upton, also of Conyers.
With 81 percent of the vote in, Dickerson had 8,258 votes to Upton's 6,352 votes in the district that covers portions of Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton counties.
Upton, owner of a septic service business, carried the vote in Rockdale County, 1,020 votes to 994 votes for Dickerson.