No surprises in Chatham County primary results

Nothing to see here, move along.

Yesterday’s primaries in Chatham County had some interesting elements, but the results were largely predictable, with most incumbents winning handily. It seems that a fair number of Republicans asked for a Democratic ballot, but that trend doesn’t seem to have had much if any effect on the outcomes.

Carl Gilliard got 54.5 percent of the vote and avoided a runoff in the race for the Democratic nomination for House District 162, a seat held by the late Bob Bryant. Tammie Mosley easily took a contested race for the Dem nomination for Clerk of Superior Court. McArthur Holmes won the Democratic primary for sheriff and will face John Wilcher in the fall.

In perhaps the most closely watched race, incumbent Democratic Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott got 65 percent of the vote in an easy win over challenger Tony Center. In a rare setback for an incumbent on Tuesday, the controversial 5th district commissioner Yusuf Shabazz took only 33 percent in a three-person race and will face Tabitha Odell (37.6 percent) in a runoff. Chester Ellis won the open 8th district commission seat.

In another race that attracted widespread public attention, incumbent Superior Court Judge John E. Morse fended off a spirited challenge from Peter Muller, 55.5 to 44.5 percent.

According to the Savannah Morning News, turnout was about 15 percent of registered voters. Sure, the low turnout was a sign of apathy, but it was also a predictable result of so many races being uncontested, especially on the Republican side. And perhaps it’s time to reassess whether voters want to have a voice for certain specialized positions and whether partisan races make any sense in some cases. Seriously, would you rather have a Democratic or Republican coroner?

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