Most incumbent sheriff's across North Georgia were returned to office by voters in Tuesday's general primary.
In Habersham County, incumbent Sheriff Joey Terrell (R) held off a challenge from Sam Jones, a former lieutenant with his department. Terrell received 63.22% of the vote (4,724) to Jones’ 36.78% (2,487).
In Stephens County, incumbent Sheriff Randy Shirley (R) received 58.04% of the vote (1,646) to challenger Rusty Fulbright’s 41.96% (1,190).
In Franklin County, the race was extremely close with incumbent Sheriff Stevie Thomas (R) apparently holding off a challenge from Georgia State Patrol retiree Scott R. Andrews. Thomas received 50.23% of the vote (2,874) to Andrews’ 49.77% (2,848). It is not immediately clear if those totals could change enough to affect the outcome.
In Jackson County, with three of four precincts reporting, incumbent Sheriff Janis Mangum (R) was ahead with 89.14% of the vote (4,688) to challenger Johnny Wood’s 10.86% (571).
In Lumpkin County, incumbent Sheriff Stacy Jarrard (R) received 88.52% of the vote (6,282) to challenger Jack Jones’ 11.48% (815).
In Hart County, incumbent Sheriff Mike Cleveland (R) received 83.5% of the vote (4,599) to challenger Tracy Mize’s 16.5% (909).
In Towns County, it appears there will be a Republican runoff between Daren “Bear” Osborn and Kenneth “Ode” Henderson. Osborn received 43.82% of the vote (1,697) while Henderson received 27.78% (1,076). Jim Couch received 19.47% (754), Linda J. Curtis received 5.45% (211) and Lisa Joseph received 3.49% (135). Sheriff Chris Clinton did not seek reelection.
In White County, former Sheriff's Capt. Rick Kelley (R) received 51.63% of the votes (3,792) to secure a spot on the November ballot. Aaron Autry received 29.55% (2,170), William Garrett received 3.85% (283), John Murphy received 12.06% (886), and Jeffery JB Ramey received 2.90% (213). Sheriff Neal Walden did not seek reelection.
These numbers are unofficial and preliminary and could change.