For the first time, voters in Lowndes County are adding two additional commissioners to County Commission, raising the total to five plus the chairman.
After years of discussion and legal wrangling over the district lines with the state and Department of Justice, the county was split into two quadrants for the two new “super districts.” While these two individuals have a much larger share of the population as constituents, citizens now have two commissioners to represent their interests in the county rather than one.
The population of the county has necessitated the change and, by and large, it has been a welcome one for the community. While the Super District 4 race won’t be decided until the Nov. 6 General Election when Republican candidate John Gates will face Democratic candidate Demarcus Marshall, the Super District 5 race will be decided in the Runoff Election on Aug. 21. The two remaining candidates with the most votes from the primary, Jody Hall and John Page, will face each other again that day, with no opposition on the Democratic side in November.
Approximately half of the citizens of Lowndes County live in the Super District, and anyone who voted on the Republican ticket on July 31 or as non-partisan, or those who chose not to vote at all but are registered voters in good standing, may vote in the runoff. Those who voted on the Democratic ballot are ineligible to vote again even though they voted in the primary.
The importance of voting in the runoff election cannot be understated as the outcome on Aug. 21 will determine the outcome of the election. With the remainder of this week and all of next week to vote, followed by voting on Aug. 21, voters have multiple opportunities to cast their ballots to help determine the leadership of Lowndes County for the next four years.