Dougherty County School Board at-large Democratic candidate Lane Price greets supporters at her campaign election night party at Cafe 230 Tuesday.
ALBANY, Ga. — Lane Price, who built a steady lead early in the evening, had a landslide victory over write-in candidate Lorenzo Heard to win the Dougherty County School Board at-large seat Tuesday night.
With unofficial results from precincts reporting, Price, the Democratic Party nominee, had amassed 27,052 votes, or 77.4 percent of the votes cast in the race, while there were 7,886, or 22.6 percent, for write-in candidates. Heard was the only qualified write-in candidate.
Elections officials said voter turnout for Dougherty County was 70 percent.
"I'm so excited," Price said. "It's like a dream come true and I'm ready to hit the ground running in January."
Earlier in the evening, Price said she was pleased with the returns, but was not yet ready to declare victory Tuesday.
"I want to wait and see what the numbers look like when all the precincts are in," Price said in the midst of her supporters gathered at Cafe 230.
Heard, at his headquarters at the Keys Building, had agreed.
"The early voting numbers are still out, so I see no reason to give up yet," Heard said. "I absolutely believe when all the ballots are counted, I will come out on top."
Price was pleased with the way the night was going.
"I feel absolutely wonderful," Price said. "The whole experience has been worth the nine months I spent campaigning. I got to meet people all over Dougherty County.
Price, a political newcomer and medical director of the Willson Hospice House, burst onto the local political scene by unseating incumbent Democrat Anita Williams-Brown by more than 2,100 votes in the July primary.
Her unexpected victory set off a flurry of activity in some political camps and Heard, the pastor at 2nd Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church, attempted to enter the race as an independent.
Heard's candidacy, however, was denied by a unanimous decision of the Dougherty Elections board, prompting him to file suit against the board, contending his candidacy was wrongly denied.
On the same day the suit was filed, Heard qualified to run against Price as a write-in candidate.
Weeks later, Heard dropped his suit, saying it had become a distraction to his campaign and he would concentrate in attempting to prevail as a write-in.