ALBANY – The two candidates in the Georgia House District 152 runoff are raring to knock on more doors and speak with potential voters in the four-week sprint to the Dec. 3 election.
In the four-candidate field of hopefuls who qualified for the special election to fill the unexpired term of Ed Rynders, Leesburg Mayor Jim Quinn finished with 3,861 votes, or 41.58% in the Tuesday election, while former Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta had 3,182 votes – 34.27% of the 9,286 ballots cast in the race.
Tyler Johnson, the third Republican in the race received 835 votes, and Mary Egler, the sole Democrat, received 1,408 votes in the nonpartisan special election.
The winner in the runoff election will serve the remaining year of Rynders’ term. Rynders announced plans earlier this year to step down from the seat he’s held for the past 17 years after moving with his wife to St. Simons Island.
“We’ve got more work to do,” said Yearta, who had to step down as mayor of Sylvester when he qualified to run for another office. “It’s just about getting our message out and our vision for the district. It’s just going to be an opportunity to see folks and try to let them know I’m the best person for the district and will be a strong voice for the people of District 152.”
Yearta said that his experience from 17 years as mayor and serving on the board of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia will benefit residents of the district that includes all of Lee and Worth counties and southern Sumter County.
The district has challenges, but there are also opportunities, and the area is a good place to raise a family, Yearta said.
“There are a lot of issues, from health care to education, economic development, infrastructure,” he said. “We need all the infrastructure help we can get. We need to support agriculture and grow agriculture. I just feel like I’m the strongest voice to get the message out.
“We’re going to get out there and work hard and talk to all the folks we can and reach as many new people as we can. I want to thank the people who supported me.”
Quinn said he also relishes the opportunity to go door-to-door and talk on the phone with anyone who wishes to speak with him.
“We get to do it all over again,” Quinn said of the four weeks of campaigning ahead. “It’s a chance to knock on more doors, see more people, make more phone calls. I like meeting people. I like talking to people.”
Quinn said he has a long record of service in his community and church as well as the political experience as mayor. He said he relishes sitting down with others to talk things out, a skill that would benefit residents of the district if he were representing them in Atlanta.
He said he is grateful for those who turned out to vote for him and wants them to do the same in the Dec. 3 runoff.
“We just need the people who voted to come back in four weeks,” he said. “Most of the stuff I sent out has my personal cellphone (number). I like for people, if you have a problem, I like them to call me. I want that to continue. I look forward to seeing you.”