Tifton voters made their decision in Tuesday's primary election with Herbert Benson taking the win for Tift County State Court Judge and two Tift County Commission incumbents losing to their challengers. There will also be a runoff for the Tift County Board of Education seat. In addition, the Sunday alcohol referendum passed.
The unofficial election summary report shows that the race between Benson and Patty Veazey for Tift County State Court Judge was close with Benson ultimately winning the seat with 2,341 votes (51.56 percent). Veazey received 2,198 votes (48.41 percent). There was one write-in vote (0.02 percent).
Benson and his supporters were gathered at Springhill Country Club Tuesday night when they learned of his win.
"My reaction was a relief," Benson told The Tifton Gazette. "I'm extremely proud to have been able to succeed."
He expressed appreciation for those who helped on the campaign and also thanked his supporters who came out to the polls to vote.
"Thank you. I certainly appreciate the support," he said.
Benson commented that Veazey also worked hard on her campaign.
Now that he will soon be taking on a new position, Benson says he's hoping to carry on current Tift County State Court Judge Larry Mims' legacy. He said he's going to work hard and try to be fair.
"I'm looking forward to the new role and new opportunities," he said.
Veazey said she was with all of her supporters Tuesday night.
"I am very thankful and humbled by all of the kindness and support that I received from the community," she said. "We worked very hard and I'm proud of our positive campaign. I am very happy for Herby Benson's success and wish him the best."
For the Tift County Commission District 4 race, Stan Stalnaker took the seat with 641 votes (54.46 percent) while incumbent Sherry Miley garnered 536 votes (45.54 percent).