Crossover voting could determine key Democratic primaries in Chatham County

There are no competitive local races in tomorrow’s Republican primary in Chatham County, so a number of campaigns and their supporters have been encouraging Republicans to ask for a Democratic ballot.

It’s an interesting strategy, and it just might work.

Chatham County Commissioner Al Scott is running for reelection and is being challenged by sitting 3rd District Commissioner Tony Center, who was redistricted out of his current seat. A prominent longtime figure in the Democratic party, Scott would seem poised for reelection, but voters here in the Savannah area are disgruntled — especially about crime — and Center looks likely to do well on Tuesday if enough non-Democrats cast a primary vote. Scott is black, and Center is white, so race is an important subtext here. (The Savannah Morning News endorsed Scott — click here for all the SMN endorsements.)

In addition to some other interesting Chatham County Commission races, tomorrow’s primary will in effect choose the new representative from State House District 162 — the seat held by the late Bob Bryant. This will be the third time voters have been asked to choose Bryant’s replacement. We’ve already had a special election and a runoff, which was won by Carl Gilliard, but that was only to fill the remainder of Bryant’s unexpired term. Tomorrow, Gilliard will face Alicia Blakely and Josey Sheppard Jr. You can find more here.

Look for a roundup of Chatham County’s results here late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.


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