Even with a three-man field, Scott Lewis won’t need a runoff win to be Effingham County’s next chief magistrate.
The longtime Effingham County Sheriff’s deputy took nearly 66 percent of the votes and won every precinct in the race. Lewis received 2,390 votes of 3,634 cast in the non-partisan election, easily outdistancing fellow candidates David Swords and Bryan Burgess. Swords, a Guyton attorney, collected 835 votes and Burgess, a Springfield Police officer, got 409 votes.
“It feels wonderful not to have a runoff,” Lewis said. “I appreciate the citizens coming out and voting. We’re going to do the best we can for our county. Not being in a runoff means a lot. I am very thankful for the citizens coming out to vote for me.”
All three men were running to replace Scott Hinson, who has served two terms as magistrate. Hinson initially signaled his intention to seek re-election but later withdrew from the race. To avoid a runoff, the winner needed to get 50 percent of the votes plus one. In this case, averting a runoff meant the winner needed 1,818 votes.
“It’s very reassuring,” Lewis said of the margin of victory, “and I plan on not letting them down. I hope we can have the same numbers four years from now.”.
Lewis will assume his new duties in January. In the meantime, he will return to full-time service as a major in the ECSO.
Incumbent Vickie Decker won re-election to another term on the Effingham County Board of Education, winning the race for the 5th District seat over challenger Delmons White.
Decker won 451-221, capturing 67.1 percent of the votes cast.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be able to continue to work hard for the residents of Effingham County.”
There was no opposition for the other two school board seats, Districts 1 and 3, up for election this year, resulting in another four-year term each for Troy Alford and Lamar Allen.