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Decision Day for Cobb Runoff Races

Voters on Tuesday will decide on a Cobb Commission Chairman, a South Cobb Commissioner and a State Court Judge, among other offices.

The combative three-week period between Tim Lee and Bill Byrne in the Cobb Commission Chairman's runoff campaign is nearing an end. 

Voters go to the polls again on Tuesday to decide on whether to keep Lee, the incumbent, or return Byrne to his old position after a 10-year absence. 

Since there is no Democratic opponent in November, the winner of this battle between Republicans will be elected chairman for the four-year period starting in Jan. 2013.

Cobb voters also will decide countywide offices for a State Court judgeship and for Superior Court Clerk, as well as other local races, including the District 4 Cobb Commission seat, where incumbent Woody Thompson has Democratic opposition.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and a low turnout -- perhaps around 10 percent -- is being anticipated. For information on polling places, sample ballots and more, please visit the Cobb Elections website

Voters who chose a partisan ballot for the July 31 primary cannot cross party lines for the runoff; the non-partisan State Court Judge race will be included on both Democratic and Republican ballots.

The chairman combatants flailed away at each other late last week, with Lee accusing Byrne of being stuck in the past. Byrne, in turn, continued to charge that Lee is beholden to big business interests and supports higher taxes. 

Byrne's proactive move during the runoff was to propose , but it's hard to gauge how East Cobb voters will respond. 

Otherwise, Lee has been on the offensive, spending much of the last week of the campaign as chairman, including his vote for an anti-gay resolution in 1993 that cost Cobb an Atlanta Olympics venue. 

In an interview Monday afternoon on WABE-FM, longtime Cobb-based political analyst Matt Towery said the race will come down to each candidate's turnout success. While Lee has outspent Byrne, Towery said Byrne's ability to pull off an upset shouldn't be underestimated. 

Thompson seeks to stay in office

Woody Thompson, the only Democrat on the Cobb Commission, is in a runoff battle Tuesday against Lisa Cupid, a political newcomer and Austell civic activist . 

No Republican qualified for the November ballot.

Court races winding down

Republican voters will choose between Rebecca Keaton and John Skelton for Cobb Superior Court Clerk. There is no Democrat on the November ballot. 

The final Cobb judgeship race involves a non-partisan contest for State Court between Larry Burke and Marsha Lake. 

Also on the ballot

  • There's a Democratic runoff between Diana Eckles and Michael Smith for the State House 41 seat, which includes much of the area between Marietta and Smyrna. 
  • Larry Darnell and Brad Wheeler square off for the Republican nomination for the Post 7 seat on the Cobb Board of Education. The winner faces Democratic incumbent Alison Bartlett in November. The district includes the Osborne High School district.

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