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Runoff to determine District 2
vera jones 1
Vera Jones enjoys a moment with Troy Allen, left, and Lamar Allen, center, while waiting for more numbers on primary night. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue
After several weeks of campaigning, there’s still more to do for two candidates.
Vera Jones received 494 of 1,091 votes cast in the Republican primary for the Effingham County commissioners’ District 2 race. It was 52 votes short needed to claim the primary and the seat, since there is no Democratic opposition.
But Jones, the former Effingham County Board of Education chairwoman, will face off against Michael King in an Aug. 10 runoff. King claimed
312 votes, 27 more than incumbent Commissioner Myra Lewis.
“I knew percentage-wise it was most likely,” Jones said of a runoff. “But I certainly hoped it wasn’t going to be necessary. I worked in order to avoid that. ”
Jones said she campaigned hard for both the school board and the county commission, but this campaign was “absolutely” harder.
King, a former member of the Rincon City Council, said he’s ready to hit the campaign trail again.
“We’re going to hit the ground running,” he said. “We’re going to meet with people and do a little grassroots stuff and see where that takes us.”
King said he had been getting calls throughout Wednesday congratulating him on getting into the runoff. He also said he would like to see the candidates get more exposure.
“That one forum was great,” he said. “I’d like to debate every other week, if we could.”
Lewis, the current vice-chairperson of the commissioners, was seeking a third term on the board.
“I’m doing good,” she said in reaction to her term coming to an end. “I don’t have any regrets. I think that indicated self-respect from the candidates and respect for the voting public.
“I’ll finish my term out for the year and do the best I can,” she said.
She also has spoken with both Jones and King and said if any one asks her opinion, she will give that person Jones’ and King’s phone numbers to they can speak with them directly.
Lewis said she will offer any assistance she can to whoever wins the runoff.
Jones and King both said the key is getting the voters back to the polls for the Aug. 10 runoff. Tuesday’s primary drew nearly twice as many voters as the 2006 election, King noted.
“We’re trying to put a game plan together on what we need to do to try to get folks back out to the polls on the 10th,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll have a thousand people come out like we did this time. But we can hope.”
Said Jones: “I appreciate the people who voted, no matter who they voted for. I’m really going to need them to show up in August.”
If she wins the runoff and the seat, Jones offered a pledge to the voters. 
“I will work earnestly on their behalf,” she said.