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Heather Lanier wins runoff election for Superior Court Judge

By Brandon O’Connor & Powell Cobb

The Post-Searchlight

Heather Lanier won the runoff election for Superior Court Judge of the South Georgia Judicial Circuit Tuesday night, winning against opponent Ryan Cleveland with 60 percent of the votes.

“I had a lot of outstanding supporters who worked so hard for me and believed in me, and it showed in the results,” Lanier said. “I would not be where I’m at tonight if it were not for all those people who put in tireless hours, all having faith in my ability to do the job. To me that’s what the results show.”

Lanier won the runoff election by a final tally of 3894 votes to Cleveland’s 2333.

Overall she won four of the five counties in the circuit. In her Baker County, where she is from, she won 568 to 139. The Calhoun County results were 342-135 in favor of Lanier. Grady County voters chose Lanier 663-536, and in Mitchell County she won 1491 to 303. Cleveland’s lone victory came in his home county of Decatur, which he won 1220 to 830.

In all, 6,227 ballots were cast over the five counties.

Cleveland congratulated Heather Lanier on her victory and thanked his supporters following the final results.

“Thank you so much to Decatur County, for all my friends and supporters that went out of their way to encourage and vote for me,” Cleveland said. “I look forward to serving you in other capacities. I will serve you as an attorney and as a friend. I look forward to continuing on a path that makes our community better.”

Lanier, who currently works as chief assistant district attorney in Dougherty County, said next on her list is learning the ins and outs of being a judge.

“I intend to sit down with judges, particularly Judge (A. Wallace) Cato, and let them give me advice and show me how things have worked,” Lanier said. “And hopefully (I will) implement some of the ideas I have, like working with young offenders and mental health individuals.”