Surprising victory, expected runoffs in Lee County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Surprising victory, expected runoffs in Lee County

July 21, 2004

Leesburg-- A surprising victory in Lee County, "Ever since I was young, I was taught if you work hard it will pay off," says Leesburg District Commissioner-Elect Jo Ealum

One incumbent Lee County Commissioner is thrown out and another is fighting for his seat. Of the three Commission seats up for election Tuesday, two resulted in runoffs.

In the third, possibly an historic result. A 20-year-old will now sit on the Lee County Commission.

It looks like 20-year-old Jo Ealum's hard campaigning paid off, "I have had a lot of people willing to work hard alongside me."

Ealum defeated incumbent Leesburg District commissioner Lewis Harris by a mere 56 votes, but says she hopes her proven work ethic will convince nay-sayers she can do the job, "I will work hard and I will do my homework and I will do my best and I believe we will make a difference. We will, together, we will make a difference."

While Ealum is heading to commissioner's school in the fall, other candidates are preparing to hit the campaign trail all over again, "Today I am going to relax a bit, full steam ahead tomorrow." In the Century District, Morris Leverett is in a runoff with Jenny Crisp, "You know whoever the public wants they will put in there and I hope it is me."

Political Newcomer Wally Roberts hopes he will be victorious over a well-known incumbent, "I am grateful to the voters of Redbone and I am surprised I beat him."

Roberts will face Jackie McCorkle for the Redbone District Seat. McCorkle blames a lower-than-usual turnout at the polls for his second place finish. Now, he wants to debate the retired state trooper, "If you confront rumors with facts, it takes the doubt out."

All the races are Republican and anyone who voted Republican in the primary or who did not vote at all will be eligible to cast their ballot in the runoff in three weeks.

Candidate Tom Heldenburg, who placed third in the Redbone race, says he is endorsing Wally Roberts over incumbent Jackie McCorkle.

Posted at 4:24 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com