Jeff Hobby wins Worth County sheriff's race

SYLVESTER, Ga. — Jeff Hobby won a nail-biter to succeed longtime Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins as the county's top law enforcement official.

When the final tallies came in Tuesday night, Hobby, a Republican, had erased a small lead by his Democratic opponent, John Daniel, and won the race for sheriff with 4,334 votes, or 52.2 percent of those cast, to Daniel's 3,969.

In the contest for probate judge, which also did not involve an incumbent, Virginia Acord, a Republican, defeated Democrat nominee Fidila Griffin with 5,839 votes, or 72.6 percent, to Griffin's 2,203.

The two incumbents on Tuesday's ballet did not fare well.

County Commission Chairman Matt Medders, a Democrat, was upset by Republican challenger John M. Cosby, who garnered 4,456 votes, or 55.8 percent, to Medders' 3,530.

And in the District 3 Board of Education contest former county commissioner Billy Oliver, the Republican candidate, defeated incumbent Mike Roberts, a Democrat, 1,257 to 1,128.

Hobby emerged from a field of five candidates who sought to replace Tompkins, who is retiring at the end of his term after more than three decades in law enforcement.

In the primary elections in July, Daniel defeated Lenny Davis II and Gene Jones for the Democratic nomination with 80.2 percent of the vote. In the Republican primary, Hobby defeated Ronnie Graddy with 66.3 percent of the vote.

Daniel has been a deputy with the Worth County Sheriff's Office for roughly 20 years, with more than 30 years in law enforcement. Hobby, a native to the Worth County area, has worked about 15 years as a trooper with the Georgia State Patrol.