Early voting for State Senate runoff to begin

Published 3:01 pm Friday, January 25, 2013

Two candidates will debate Monday

Early voting opens Monday, Jan. 28, in the State Senate District 11 special election run-off between Dean Burke of Bainbridge and Mike Keown of Thomas County.

The two candidates will square off in a debate at the Roddenbery Memorial Library in Cairo, Ga., at noon on Monday, Jan. 28. The debate will be broadcast on the radio by a Cairo station, WGRA AM-790. WGRA’s Jeff Lovett will moderate the forum and said public participation is encouraged.

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Six people qualified to run in the special election, which will determine who will represent the district after incumbent John Bulloch resigned on Friday, Dec. 7.

The top two vote-getters were Burke and Keown, who will be alone on the runoff ballot. Both men are Republicans.

The special election run-off is set for Tuesday, Feb. 5. All Decatur County voting precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, along with voting places in eight other Southwest Georgia counties.

Early voting will be conducted each day next week between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Decatur County Fairgrounds off Vada Road. Friday will be the last day of early voting.

State Senate District 11 comprises Early, Seminole, Miller, Mitchell, Decatur, Grady and portions of Colquitt and Thomas counties.

Dr. Dean Burke of Bainbridge is a obstetrician and gynecologist who was first elected to the Bainbridge City Council in 2007. He was re-elected in 2011. Among other civic and community activities, Burke serves on the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce and the Lower Flint District Water Planning Board.

Mike Keown, who is from the small town of Coolidge in Thomas County, is a former Georgia House Representative and was the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in Georgia’s Second District in 2010. He formerly served as the mayor of Coolidge and is currently the pastor of Coolidge Baptist Church.