SYLVESTER, Ga. — Republican Jeff Hobby, Worth County’s newly elected sheriff, says he plans no changes in his staff, but there will be some change in their work shifts.
Hobby finished a close race with opponent John Daniel by receiving 4,334 votes over Daniel’s 3,969 votes.
About three-quarters of the way into the ballot counting Tuesday night, with 9 of 15 precincts in, Hobby trailed Daniel by 23 votes. A little later in the race, their places reversed.
“When the second results, with Precinct 1, came in and I was 26 points ahead I knew I was in good shape,” Hobby said. “It was the only one I was worried about.”
A Worth County native, Hobby has worked about 15 years as a trooper with the Georgia State Patrol.
He replaces current Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins, who is retiring after more than 30 years in law enforcement.
in the July Republican primary, Hobby defeated Ronnie Graddy.
Daniel, a deputy with Worth County Sheriff’s Office, was the winner of the Democratic primary, defeating Lenny Davis II and Gene Jones.
The incoming Sheriff said he had few formalized plans, other than transitioning the department toward 12-hour shifts for his team of 24 deputies.
According to Hobby, the move from eight-hour shifts would increase the visibility of officers in the field, especially late at night, and serve as a crime deterrent. He anticipates no changes in staff, he said.
“Everybody who works there now can their jobs,” Hobby said. “We’re not looking to revamp anything.”
Two other countywide races and one district race were on the ballot.
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 who were seeking re-election on Tuesday’s ballot did not fare well. Each was defeated by his challenger.
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.
All votes totals are still unofficial.
Official results from all Worth County elections are expected to be available by 6 p.m. on Friday, said Sue Potts, chief registrar of the Worth County Board of Registrars.