The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Wednesday, August 19, 1998
Stage is now set for November races; Demos staring uphill

Staff Writer

It's on to the next round for Bill Bonner and Linda Wells, who won the Republican Party nominations for state Senate and County Commission seats in Tuesday's General Primary runoff.

"I don't think I've got time for a break," said Fayetteville's Bonner after narrowly defeating Clayton County lawyer Don Johnson for the nomination in state Senate District 34.

The district includes parts of Fayette, Clayton, Douglas and Fulton counties. Bonner won 53.23 percent of the Fayette vote, 2064 votes to Johnson's 1,813, and took 50.6 percent district-wide, 3,766 to 3,680.

Wells admitted she hopes to take "about a three-week breather, then be at it hot and heavy again." A Fayetteville resident, she won the nomination convincingly, defeating former Peachtree City mayor Fred Brown Jr. 5,515 to 3,642. She took 60.22 percent of the vote for County Commission Post 4.

Wells now faces Democrat Bruce L. Bannister of Tyrone, former mayor and city councilman in East Point, in the General Election Nov. 3. Bonner will take on state Rep. Greg Hecht of Jonesboro in November.

"It again boils down to how many people turn out to vote," said Bonner after briefly savoring his GOP victory. "This has been a Republican district for some time now, and I certainly want to reach out to Don Johnson's supporters, who are concerned with conservative issues just like I am," he said.

He attributed his narrow victory to a variety of factors. "When you get in a race that's this close, it becomes very visible how important every phone call, every sign, every dollar contributed, every conversation is," he said.

Registered voters in the district are 56 percent Republican, Bonner said, which doesn't guarantee a victory in the fall, but "provides a tremendous base of support."

"I'll be talking about the same issues of education, lowering taxes, elimination of the state income tax and crime that I did in the primary," Bonner said. "We want to carry on the conservative legacy that Pam Glanton [former holder of the office who resigned to run for lieutenant governor] has set for this district."

Wells said hard work by her supporters put her over the top. "A lot of people worked very hard," she said. She also talked about the issues that were on people's minds, she added. "The citizens are really, really tired of elected officials not listening to them. It started with [the recent defeat of the Board of Education's special sales tax for schools]," she added.

Brown also addressed those issues, Wells said, but "I think we had a better grasp of what the citizens were saying much earlier. Fred's platform didn't seem to take much shape until after the primary."

She said she was "very pleasantly surprised" at the margin of her victory and the voter turnout.

In addition to Wells and Bonner, three other Fayette candidates who emerged from the Republican primary will face Democratic opposition in the fall. The rest of the races were either nonpartisan or were decided in the GOP primary because there is no Democratic opposition.

Gene Dunn of Peachtree City, who won the nomination for County Commission Post 5 without a runoff, will face Fayetteville businessman Stuart Barnes Nov. 3. Mickey Littlefield of Fairburn, who took the nomination for Board of Education Post 5 without opposition, faces Carolyn Fludd. And Greg Powers of Fayetteville, strong GOP winner over incumbent Dr. Bob Todd for the Post 4 school board seat, faces Roger Marietta of Fayetteville.

In the nonpartisan race for Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court judge, Brooks resident Chris Edwards defeated Molena, Ga.'s David Fowler in the Tuesday runoff after the two emerged from a field of five. Edwards took 10,309 votes to Fowler's 9,758.

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