By Walter GeigerLamar County voters go to the polls today to cast ballots in the general election. Polling places throughout the county will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.Lamar is home to 9,687 active, registered voters. Of those, 1,736 cast ballots via advance voting opportunities. Another 189 submitted absentee ballots from 189 mailed out, according to elections superintendent Anita Reid.Reid is projecting a turnout of 40% here when all votes have been counted.The only contested local race on the ballot is that for county commission which pits Democrat Neal Devane against Republican Charles Glass in the contest to replace current chairman Jay Matthews who did not seek reelection.Devane is a former Barnesville city councilman, gum vendor and reporter.Glass is the current District 2 commissioner, U.S Army veteran and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.Three other hotly-contested statewide races will draw voters’ attention as well.Incumbent Republican governor Nathan Deal is in a pitched battle with Democratic challenger Jason Carter to hold on to his office. Carter is the grandson of former president Jimmy Carter.Another race that has been highlighted by partisan mudslinging is that to replace U. S. Senator Saxby Chambliss who did not seek reelection.That race pits Democrat Michelle Nunn against Republican David Perdue.Nunn is the daughter of longtime former senator Sam Nunn. Perdue is the cousin of former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue. Another race of great statewide interest is that for state school superintendent. Republican Richard Woods is battling Democrat Valarie Wilson in the race to succeed John Barge who stepped away to mount an unsuccessful run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.Woods is the only statewide candidate who bothered to appear when invited to a political forum here in Barnesville.As always, The Herald Gazette is on top of the electoral process and will have up-to-the-minute election results tonight.You can monitor barnesville.com for immediate returns updated from the election headquarters in the courthouse. You can also call our ever popular election hotline at 770.358.NEWS for results as they are received.No results are expected before about 7:45 p.m.
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