Runoff possible for coroner, Barber wins

Published 9:42 am Friday, November 7, 2008

In the closest local race seen in the election, a runoff may be necessary between Democratic incumbent Peter Bruton and his Republican opponent, Allen Ware.

Bruton received 4,949 votes to Ware’s 4,938 winning by nearly the narrowest of margins—only 11 votes. A small stack of provisional votes remain to be tallied when the Board of Elections meets on Thursday, said Keith Sellars, a member of the board who is also chairman of the local Republican Party.

Board of Elections Chairman Wendell Cofer explained a runoff becomes necessary when neither candidate gains 50 percent of the total ballots plus one additional vote. When votes for write-in candidates are considered, neither Bruton or Ware have 50 percent of the unofficial results, Cofer said. Bruton has been Decatur County coroner for 16 years and had previously defeated Ware when the two faced off in 2004. Ware is the owner of Cox-Ware Funeral Home.

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In another close race, Bobby Barber beat incumbent Robbie Parker for the Board of Education, District 5, seat. Barber received 749 votes to Parker’s 694. Barber is a agribusinessman who is active in the Decatur County Farm Bureau.

Incumbent Tax Commissioner Don Belcher easily defeated his Republican opponent Dan West. Belcher received 6,458 votes to West’s 3,152.