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Jones wins re-election as commission chair

Incumbent Commission Chair Rob Jones handily won re-election Tuesday, making him the longest sitting top official in the modern history of this county.

Jones has previously won twice as sole commissioner and this marks twice as the commission chair. He defeated Bill Newton three of the times, including Tuesday where Jones took 2,384 votes to Newton’s 1,598.  Jones received 60 percent of the votes cast.

Following the outcome, Jones said “his job” is what he credits for his long popularity with voters. He said he has always worked hard for the county and treated everyone fairly and he believed that voters recognize that.

Jones said he felt “very blessed that the people have kept me in office.”  

Jones called this race heated and stressful on his family and county employees. He said comments made by others in the campaign had been “unacceptable.”

The election saw one of the lowest turnouts in any major election in the county as far back as poll watchers could recall with slightly less than 4,000 of the nearly 20,000 registered voters casting ballots. Exact turnout figures were not available on Tuesday.

In other races: the school board post 1 will see a runoff with Katherine White taking 44 percent of the vote against Mike Cowart's 39 percent. Larry Cantrell got 17 percent. White had 1,692 votes to Cowart’s 1,514.

Darrin Satterfield handily won the office of tax commissioner with 77 percent of the vote (2,830 votes) to David Leister’s 23 percent (852).

Mark Godfrey also won by a wide margin in the coroner race taking 72 percent of the vote (2,700 votes) over Bradley McKinney’s 27 percent (1,026).

In an odd quirk, as of election night, 45 votes remained not included in the official tally as a problem with one card in a machine could not be entered into the system.

Election officials noted that there were not enough votes there to affect any outcome. The “corrupt” card shut down the count for some time while officials worked on the machine and card.

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