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Cobb Commission Chairman Race Heads to Runoff

Incumbent Tim Lee received 40 percent of the vote; Bill Byrne was edging Mike Boyce for second place.

The bruising battle for Cobb Commission Chairman is far from over. 

Incumbent Tim Lee garnered nearly 40 percent of the vote in a four-candidate race for the Republican nomination in Tuesday's primary. But it wasn't enough to prevent an Aug. 21 runoff.

Complete results had not been tabulated by early Wednesday. But partial returns had Lee with 27,619 votes, or 39.9 percent. Former chairman Bill Byrne received 18,205 votes, or 26 percent, while first-time candidate Mike Boyce had 16,178 votes, or 23 percent. 

Larry Savage, who ran against Lee in 2010, collected 7,212 votes, or 10 percent.

(For updated totals, visit the Georgia Secretary of State's elections website.)

The winner of the runoff will be the next chairman, since no Democratic candidate filed to run for the countywide office. 

"It looks like the way we thought it would look," Lee said Tuesday from his election night headquarters at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Kennesaw. "It looks like we're going to be in a runoff with Bill Byrne."

Byrne wasn't quite ready to declare himself in a runoff when interviewed at Shillings on the Square in Marietta shortly before midnight, but sounded confident of his chances. 

"If those numbers continue to hold up, we'll be in a runoff," he said. "I would be ecstatic with that."

He also said he would ask for the endorsements of Boyce and Savage. Like Byrne, they repeatedly attacked Lee during the campaign for his vote last year to raise the Cobb prooperty tax millage rate and for his support for the TSPLOST referendum that went down to a crushing defeat Tuesday.

Both Lee and Byrne said they would continue the message and tenor of their campaigns during the three-week runoff period. At last week's Cobb Republican Party , Lee accused Byrne of being disloyal to Cobb for remarks he made two years ago attempting to qualify to run for the Polk County Commission. Byrne claimed Lee's campaign was on the verge of "imploding."

On Tuesday, Lee repeated his assertions that "I'm for moving Cobb forward," while Byrne is "looking in the rearview mirror, which is a recipe for getting stuck in the mud."

Byrne, the Cobb chairman from 1992-2002, says Tuesday's results show that Lee is vulnerable. 

"An incumbent under 40 percent has got a lot of problems," Byrne said. "He needed to win outright or he was in trouble. He couldn't."

There will be at least one candidates forum during the runoff, slated for Aug. 15 at  in East Cobb. 

repubnut August 01, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Lee must go--he thinks passing SPLOST is more important than helping the poor & elders of this County--They are now watching every penny in order to buy groceries & high gas prices--Home owners seen their property taxes increase under his leadership..He is acting like our National Government is acting-NO MORE TAX !!
Amy August 01, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I'm surprised given how badly the TSPLOST did in Cobb how well Tim Lee still fared.
thrasher64 August 01, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Agree! I thought the voters of this county were smarter than that for voting for Lee. They ALL need to wakeup and vote against Lee! He raised my property taxes, which increased my mortgage payments this year. Plus, he defended the TSPLOST!!! Those two reasons are enough for everyone to vote against Lee!!
jim redmond August 01, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I guess all the "MIKE" supporters learned something...maybe not...
Greg August 01, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Lee needs to be ousted. He was pushing the TSPLOST knowing that the propaganda that the proponents were putting out were mostly lies and/or stretching the truth. Since it's gone, so should Tim Lee. Vote on August 21st and kick the bum out.
Angry Cobb Citizen August 02, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Let's not forget that Mr. Lee also raised our water bills and increased the fares on CCT! He also said if the 2011 SPLOST did not pass he would have to raise our taxes- It passed and he still raised our taxes. If re-elected he wants to put another 1% sales tax to help reduce property taxes. DeLalb county tried this 10 years ago and it failed. Mr. Lee is not a Republican- there is not a tax this man does not love. Like Obama he must go!
jim redmond August 02, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Let's all go to Chik-fil-a and eat more chicken
John Himot August 02, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Lets see I am one of those elder people , my tax went down by almost 500 $$$$ the price of groceries did go up as did gas but he has no control over those. I to voted down the tax . Way do we keep blaming those we vote into office when most do not go and speak out at the meetings they have. Go to city hall or county commission meeting let your voice be heard the blame is ours lets not be like Obama and pass the buck.
John Himot August 02, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Unless you are willing to attend all or some of the meetings to let your voice be heard SHUT UP. The people are the problem get out and speak up at all meetings in the country or your local city. You people all sound like Obama it's this person fault or that persons fault when the truth be known it is the people fault. We vote them in and just let it ride without our voices being heard in meetings.
John Himot August 02, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Water bills went up because the cost of running the water auth. went up plus it helps in making people using less water. We only have so much you know. As for the CCT bus increase I would like to see you get off that cheap running your own car day in day out. , the tax payer should not pay for your ride. While not supporting Mr. Lee I am not surly not supporting the tax payer paying for your water your ride . I do agree that Obama must go. But why do you Angry Cobb Women think you think differnt then him wanting so much but not willing to pay the bill for it.
John Himot August 02, 2012 at 04:42 AM
We did we did and in large numbers. Yes time to eet Mor chicken.

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