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Changes coming to commissioners
Three new members will take seats on BoC
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Primary results
• John Barrow beats back another challenge from Regina Thomas, awaits winner of  GOP runoff.
• Full primary results for Effingham County, state.
• Who can vote in Aug. 10 runoff? If you voted in a party primary Tuesday, you must vote in that same party’s runoff. If you did not vote in the primary, you are eligible to vote in either party’s runoff.
When the Effingham County commissioners convene for their first meeting of 2011, half of the board members will be brand new.
Incumbents Myra Lewis and Jeff Utley, each seeking a third term, were defeated in their re-election quest. Utley, the sitting District 3 commissioner, was upended by newcomer Steve Mason. Mason will face Lillie Smart Brown, another political novice, who outpolled former commissioner Homer Lee Wallace.
Former school board chairwoman Vera Jones was the leading vote-getter in the District 2 race. But she didn’t capture a majority of the votes. She will be in a runoff against former Rincon city councilmember Michael King. Lewis, the current vice-chairperson of the county commissioners, finished third in the three-way race.
The runoff will be held Aug. 10. Other runoffs on the ballot will be the Republican nominations for governor, attorney general, insurance commissioner, public service commissioner and U.S. House 12th District and Democratic nominations for secretary of state and state school superintendent.
Commissioner Verna Phillips has opted not to seek re-election to her District 5, meaning the winner of the Phil Kieffer-Delmons White contest will join the board of commissioners. Kieffer was not opposed in the Republican primary and White ran uncontested in the Democratic primary.
There were 5,454 voters, out of 27,703 registered Effingham County voters, in the primary for a 19.6 percent turnout.
Gail Whitehead of Effingham Elections and Registration said if a voter cast a ballot in the primary, they must vote in that same party’s runoff.
Voters who did not participate in the primary can take part in either party’s runoff.