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Runoff ahead in State House District 153

State Rep. Carol Fullerton will face off against challenger Darrel Ealum in the runoff election

State Rep. Carol Fullerton

State Rep. Carol Fullerton

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Dougherty County School Board member Darrel Ealum

ALBANY —State Rep. Carol Fullerton is in a runoff against challenger Darrel Ealum for the State House 153 race.

With results final for the district which is contained in part of Dougherty County, Fullerton led the three-candidate field with 1,959 votes, but her 42.29 percent of the ballots cast was below the simple majority needed reclaim the seat outright for two more years.

Challenger Darrel Ealum, who is wrapping up his single four-year term in the Dougherty County School Board, finished second with 1,765 votes, or 38.1 percent, to earn the second spot in the runoff election.

Former Dougherty County commissioner Muarlean Edwards, whose nickname “Hat Lady” was included on the ballots, finsihed third with 908 votes, or 19.6 percent.

“We’re ready for a runoff if it comes to that,” Fullerton said before the final numbers were in Tuesday night but a runoff appeared to be inevitable. “We spent our contributors’ money wisely and ran a positive campaign.”

A confident Ealum said Tuesday he was encouraged by the outcome of the election, despite his second-place finish.

“Today, the electorate in this district said by almost 58 percent of the vote that they do not want the incumbent, Carol Fullerton, as their state representative,” Ealum said.

In the District 152 House race, incumbent Republican state Rep. Ed Rynders of Leesburg was in command all night. With all three counties reporting, Rynders had captured almost four out of every five votes. The tally was 3,832, or 78.48 percent, for Rynders to 1,051 for challenger Mary Egler.

In the race to succeed John Crosby as state senator for District 13, Bryce Johnson and Greg Kirk were in a dead heat most of the evening until Kirk pulled ahead to stay early this morning.

With all of the district's nine counties reporting, Kirk had a slim 6,807 to 6,585 win, giving him 50.83 percent of the vote.