South Georgia voters chose change - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia voters chose change

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

July 16, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Change has been a key word in the Presidential primary and Tuesday night in south Georgia voters cast a ballot for change.

There will be 21 run off races in 14 counties. In a lot of cases, incumbents were voted out or didn't get enough votes to avoid a runoffs. In more than a third of the races, voters had no choice but to pick someone new.

The word change can be heard in campaign speeches and seen in big bold letters behind Presidential candidate Barack Obama. It was also on the minds of voters in Lee County who maybe made the biggest change electing three new commissioners and a new Sheriff.

"I'm excited about the new change in Lee County, especially with the Sheriff I think Reggie Rachals will be good and bring a lot of good change to us," said Melissa Hancock, a voter.

Candidates like Commissioner elect Rick Muggridge admit their campaigns benefited from the notion of someone new.

"Oh I think it definitely helped our campaign. I think people are just not happy with where we are right now and aren't sure who to blame or who to change just where they could make change they wanted to make change," said Rick Muggridge, Lee County Commissioner elect.

Some voters had no choice but change, incumbents in Dougherty County's District Attorney and Sheriff's races didn't run.

"District Attorney's pretty good also the Sheriff so I think everything will work out pretty good so far," said Walter Carter, a voter. In fact, incumbents were missing in about a third of the races in south Georgia, but voters say change just for the sake of it isn't what they want.

"Some people just get on the band wagon and say change and if you've got something good going, leave it alone," said Mary Green, a voter.

"We just have to wait and I know everybody talks a good game but when it all comes down to it all the commissioners have to agree one person, can't change anything all by themselves," said Jack Bell, a voter.

Only time will tell whether the changes will be for the better. Runoff elections will be held in 14 counties August 5th.

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