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Justice Court race headed for runoff

The winner of a Lawrence County Justice Court seat will not beknown until after a Nov. 22 runoff.

Albert Turnage, of Silver Creek, and Kathleen S. Sharp, of NewHebron, picked up the most votes with 583 (38.5 percent) and 483(31.9 percent), respectively, to advance to the runoff in completebut unofficial totals.

Turnage appeared satisfied with the results and was confident inpreparing for the runoff. He admitted that “it’s been a longcampaign. We started in February.”

Sharp was not at the Lawrence County Courthouse for the readingof the results Tuesday night.

Hortense Martin McCullough brought in 362 votes, or 23.9percent. Jimmy H. Barton captured 80 votes, or 5.3 percent.

Circuit Clerk Cindy Stokes said affidavit ballots cast in therace would not affect the results.

The fewer than 10 affidavit ballots were to be counted today.The precinct-by-precinct totals also would be released to thepublic today, Stokes said.

The election drew scant attention from most voters with only1,508 voters casting ballots.

“It was obviously a very low voter turnout,” Stokes said.

New Hebron showed the strongest turnout with 321 voters.

“That was good for New Hebron,” Stokes said.

Post 1 includes 16 of Lawrence County’s 26 precincts, includingall of Districts Four and Five, Oma, Sontag and Wanilla.

Voters are electing a replacement for former Post 1 justicecourt judge Bobby Fortenberry Jr., who pleaded guilty to possessionof crystal meth with intent to transfer and stepped down from hisoffice in an agreement with prosecutors and the court in September2004.

The winner of the election will fulfill Fortenberry’s term,which expires Jan. 1, 2008.