Former probate judge secures about two-thirds of votes

Scoggins wins District 14 primary

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Mitchell Scoggins, a former Bartow County probate judge, won Tuesday's special Republican primary election, securing 2,048 of the 3,173 votes cast in the race for the state's District 14 House of Representatives seat.

Scoggins secured roughly 64 percent of all ballots, more than enough to prevent the need for a runoff. Kenneth Coomer came in second with 893 votes (28.14 percent), Nickie Leighly third with 155 votes (4.8 percent) and Nathan Wilson finished last with 77 votes (2.4 percent.)

No Democratic challengers ran in the election, as the victory in the primary effectively gives Scoggins the seat vacated by former state representative Christian Coomer, who left the post after being appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Georgia Court of Appeals earlier this year.

Of the 13 precincts that participated in the election, eight were located in Bartow and five were located in Floyd. The district more or less includes the entire northern half of Bartow, including all of Adairsville, Cassville, Folsom, Kington, Pine Log and White.

Among Bartow voters, Scoggins won about 70 percent of the vote, securing 1.910 of the 2,709 ballots cast in the county. Coomer (the father of the district's former representative) had 631 votes (23 percent) in the county, with Leighly and Wilson collecting 109 (4 percent) and 59 (2.1 percent) votes, respectively.

In total, about 9 percent of eligible voters in the district voted in the special election, including almost 11 percent of eligible Bartow voters. 

Bartow County Election Supervisor Joseph Kirk said he was mildly surprised the local turnout surpassed 10 percent.

"I was worried it was going to be more like 5 or 6 percent," he said. "So I'm happy it was higher than I expected, but sad that it wasn't higher than it was — I just think people are a little burned out on elections right now."

Tuesday's unofficial results, however, do not include all absentee or provisional ballots. The election results will be officially certified shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21.

"We may see a shift of one or two votes depending on how many provisional ballots were cast," Kirk said. "But as of right now, I don't see anything changing too much."