Valdosta Daily Times

November 7, 2012

Incumbents take state election

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Incumbents for state districts 174 (Echols, Clinch, Ware, Charlton counties), 175 (Brooks, Thomas and Lowndes counties), 176 (Lanier, Lowndes, Atkinson and Ware counties) and the state senate swept this year’s general election by a large margin, according to the majority of results ready at press time Tuesday night.

Sen. Tim Golden — who won the election with 36,101 votes at 63.18 percent — was honored to once again be elected to serve for two more years.

"I love every square inch of my district," said Golden.

Though ecstatic about the victory, Golden was disappointed with the campaign of his opponent Bikram Mohanty — who lost with 21,035 votes or 36.82 percent — which he felt was not entirely clean.

"I was a little disappointed. I have never run a race like this when an opponent went negative on me from start to finish," said Golden.

Nevertheless, Golden stated after his victory that it was in the past.

"I put it behind me and move on and I'm ready to govern," said Golden.

While Golden and Mohanty's campaign wasn't a cordial one, State representative for district 174 Ellis Black — who won with 11,383 of the vote at 69.43 percent — commended opponent Teresa Lawrence — who took 30.57 percent of the vote with only 5,013 — for a clean race.

"I applaud the fact that we had a clean campaign," said Black. "I commend my opponent for the campaign that she did run."

Even after taking over a newly drawn district that now includes the counties of Brooks and Thomas for District 175, Amy Carter remained the representative with 73.63 percent of the vote (15,574), defeating opponent J.C. Cunningham who only pulled 26.37 percent (5,577) of the vote.

"I'm excited, I'm honored, I'm humbled," said Carter.

While the Amendment 1 (Charter School Amendment) was a large part of the state representative's campaign, Carter didn't feel as if the issue impacted her campaign directly very much.

"I feel like that was definitely a decision we had to put before the voters," said Carter.

Lowndes County saw the birth of a new "super district", district 177.

Dexter Sharper — who took 10,779 votes at 67 percent — defeated his opponent Glenn Gregory — who received 5,310 votes at 33 percent — and will be the first to ever serve the district.

"I feel great," said Sharper.

After learning of his win, Sharper thanked God first and then his family, friends and supporters. He also commended Gregory for a good race.

"I'd like to thank Glenn Gregory for a very clean race," said Sharper.

While Jason Shaw of district 176 ran unopposed, he was still very pleased with the other elections and extended a welcome to newcomer Sharper.

"We're going to certainly welcome him with open arms," said Shaw.

Shaw looks forward to working together with all the other state representatives.

"We've got a strong team," said Shaw.