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How did Columbus vote in the Muscogee sheriff’s race?

Sheriff John Darr relaxes on his porch with friends and family as he awaits election results Tuesday night November 8, 2016
Sheriff John Darr relaxes on his porch with friends and family as he awaits election results Tuesday night November 8, 2016 photo@ledger-enquirer.com

What’s striking from just a cursory review of precinct results in the Nov. 8 Muscogee sheriff’s race is this:

Incumbent Sheriff John Darr did not get a majority of the vote in any of the 28 precincts represented. Though he got more votes than any of his challengers in 11 out of 28, his vote total never reached 50 percent or more.

Running as an independent, Darr did best at the Britt David Baptist Church precinct, 2801 Britt David Road, where he got 674 votes or 47.33 percent. Democrat Donna Tompkins got 369 votes or 26 percent and Republican Mark LaJoye got 356 or 25 percent. The write-in votes that presumably went to Pam Brown totaled 25, or 1.76 percent.

That’s as close as Darr came to a majority, though he did nearly as well in the 3rd Congressional District precinct at Epworth Baptist Church, 2400 Devonshire Drive.

Epworth is a split precinct in congressional election years because some of its voters live in the 3rd Congressional District and some in the 2nd. Of 2,122 3rd Congressional District votes cast, Darr got 962, or 46.7 percent. Tompkins got 581, of 28.2 percent; LaJoye got 489 for 23.74 percent; and the write-ins were 28, or 1.36 percent.

Countywide, the incumbent garnered 32 percent of the vote to Tompkins’ 44, with LaJoye getting 20 percent and the write-ins coming to 3.4 percent. With no one scoring a majority, Darr and Tompkins now are headed to a Dec. 6 runoff.

Unlike Darr, Tompkins rode a wave of support in majority Democratic precincts, most of them on the south side of town, where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also won overwhelmingly.

Southside wave

Tompkins not only got more votes than her opponents in 16 out of 28 precincts, she got more than 60 percent in nine of those:

  • She got 68 percent at Faith Tabernacle Church, 1603 Floyd Road, where Clinton got 90 percent.
  • She got 67.5 percent at the Cusseta Road Church of Christ, 3013 Cusseta Road, where Clinton got 93 percent.
  • She got 67 percent at the Carver-Mack precinct that votes at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, where Clinton got 95 percent.
  • She got 66.4 percent at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, 4400 Old Cusseta Road, where Clinton got 93 percent.
  • She got 65.46 percent at the St. John AME Church, 3980 Steam Mill Road, where Clinton got 92 percent.
  • She got 64 percent at Rothschild Middle School, 1136 Hunt Ave., where Clinton got 85 percent.
  • She got 63 percent at National Infantry Museum, 1775 Legacy Way, where Clinton got 83 percent.

LaJoye, the Republican, got the most votes in only one precinct, Wynnbrook Baptist Church, 500 River Knoll Way, where Republican President-Elect Donald Trump scored the most votes in Columbus.

Trump got 70 percent there. LaJoye got 37.81 percent, but that was a thin margin over Darr’s 36.26 percent. Only 30 votes separated the two, LaJoye’s 732 to Darr’s 702. Tompkins had 490, or 25 percent, and only 12 votes were write-ins.

Nearly tied up

The most competitive precinct was St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 4980 Hancock Road, where the three main contenders almost had a three-way tie. There the score was LaJoye 1,444 or 31.81 percent; Tompkins 1,480 or 32.6 percent; and Darr 1,542 or 33.96 percent. The write-ins came to 74, or 1.6 percent.

They came close to that at one other poll, the Psalmond Road Recreation Center, 6500 Psalmond Road, where the score was LaJoye 1,370 or 31.12 percent; Tompkins 1,422 or 32.3 percent; and Darr 1,521 or 34.55 percent. The write-ins were 89 or 2 percent.

Now Tompkins and Darr are going into a runoff with no hotly contested presidential race or controversial property-tax freeze referendum to boost turnout. The winner’s likely to be whoever can get supporters to go back to the voting booth, just one more time, in a long election year that likely has led to some voter fatigue.

Early voting will be 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 28 through Dec. 2 in the community room on the ground floor of the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library. All county polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 6.

Precinct results from the Nov. 8 Muscogee Sheriff’s race

Wynnton United Methodist Church, 2412 Wynnton Road.

Mark LaJoye 327, 12.22 percent; Donna Tompkins 1,505, 56.26 percent; John Darr 716, 26.77 percent; Write-ins 127, 4.75 percent.

Carver-Mack, Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road.

LaJoye 61, 2.89 percent; Tompkins 1,415, 67.09 percent; Darr 457, 21.67 percent; Write-ins 176, 8.35 percent.

St. John AME Church, 3980 Steam Mill Road.

LaJoye 113, 3.81 percent; Tompkins 1,941, 65.46 percent; Darr 645, 21.75 percent; Write-ins 266, 8.97 percent.

Britt David Baptist Church, 2801 Britt David Road.

LaJoye 356, 25 percent; Tompkins 369, 25.91 percent; Darr 674, 47.33 percent; Write-ins 25, 1.76 percent.

St. Peter United Methodist Church, 6507 Moon Road.

LaJoye 649, 32.5 percent; Tompkins 493, 24.69 percent; Darr 822, 41.16 percent; Write-ins 33, 1.65 percent.

Cornerstone Church of God, 7701 Lloyd Road.

LaJoye 1,094, 31.87 percent; Tompkins 983, 28.63 percent; Darr 1,321, 38.48 percent; Write-ins 35, 1.02 percent.

Columbus Technical College, 928 Manchester Expressway.

LaJoye 399, 22.18 percent; Tompkins 596, 33.13 percent; Darr 768, 42.69 percent; Write-ins 36, 2 percent.

St. Mark United Methodist Church, 6795 Whitesville Road.

LaJoye 1,450, 35.09 percent; Tompkins 955, 23.11 percent; Darr 1,685, 40.78 percent; Write-ins 42, 1.02 percent.

Wynnbrook Baptist Church, 500 River Knoll Way.

LaJoye 732, 37.81 percent; Tompkins 490, 25.31 percent; Darr 702, 36.26 percent; Write-ins 12, 0.62 percent.

Cusseta Road Church of Christ, 3013 Cusseta Road.

LaJoye 120, 4.83 percent; Tompkins 1,676, 67.5 percent; Darr 533, 21.47 percent; Write-ins 154, 6.2 percent.

National Infantry Museum, 1775 Legacy Way.

LaJoye 226, 10.92 percent; Tompkins 1,307, 63.14 percent; Darr 440, 21.26 percent; Write-ins 97, 4.69 percent.

Eddy Middle School, 2100 S. Lumpkin Road.

LaJoye 184, 10.99 percent; Tompkins 1,018, 60.78 percent; Darr 411, 24.54 percent; Write-ins 62, 3.7 percent.

Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, 4400 Old Cusseta Road.

LaJoye 111, 3.64 percent; Tompkins 2,026, 66.4 percent; Darr 671, 21.99 percent; Write-ins 243, 7.96 percent.

Faith Tabernacle Church, 1603 Floyd Road.

LaJoye 116, 5.02 percent; Tompkins 1,568, 67.82 percent; Darr 482, 20.85 percent; Write-ins 146, 6.31 percent.

Fort Middle School, 2900 Woodruff Farm Road.

LaJoye 318, 9.86 percent; Tompkins 1,985, 61.57 percent; Darr 790, 24.5 percent; Write-ins 131, 4.06 percent.

Rothschild Middle School, 1136 Hunt Ave.

LaJoye 270, 7.56 percent; Tompkins 2,281, 63.89 percent; Darr 781, 21.88 percent; Write-ins 238, 6.67 percent.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4400 Reese Road.

LaJoye 788, 25.68 percent; Tompkins 1,095, 35.69 percent; Darr 1,136, 37.03 percent; Write-ins 49, 1.6 percent.

St. Paul United Methodist Church, 2101 Wildwood Ave., 2nd Congressional District.

LaJoye 653, 26.46 percent; Tompkins 736, 29.82 percent; Darr 1,050, 42.54 percent; Write-ins 29, 1.18 percent.

St. Paul United Methodist Church, 2101 Wildwood Ave., 3rd Congressional District.

LaJoye 226, 24.17 percent; Tompkins 354, 37.86 percent; Darr 338, 36.15 percent; Write-ins 17, 1.82 percent.

North Highland Assembly of God, 7300 Whittlesey Blvd.

LaJoye 1,000, 31.83 percent; Tompkins 823, 26.19 percent; Darr 1,273, 40.52 percent; Write-ins 46, 1.46 percent.

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 4980 Hancock Road.

LaJoye 1,444, 31.81 percent; Tompkins 1,480, 32.6 percent; Darr 1,542, 33.96 percent; Write-ins 74, 1.63 percent.

Salvation Army Church, 5201 Warm Springs Road.

LaJoye 472, 26.25 percent; Tompkins 664, 36.93 percent; Darr 634, 35.26 percent; Write-ins 28, 1.56 percent.

First African Baptist Church, 901 Fifth Ave.

LaJoye 124, 15.56 percent; Tompkins 461, 57.84 percent; Darr 195, 24.47 percent; Write-ins 17, 2.13 percent.

Epworth United Methodist Church, 2400 Devonshire Drive, 2nd Congressional District.

LaJoye 21, 18.75 percent; Tompkins 56, 50 percent; Darr 34, 30.36 percent; Write-ins 1, 0.89 percent.

Epworth United Methodist Church, 2400 Devonshire Drive, 3rd Congressional District.

LaJoye 489, 23.74 percent; Tompkins 581, 28.2 percent; Darr 962, 46.7 percent; Write-ins 28, 1.36 percent.

Marianna Gallops Center, 1212 15th St.

LaJoye 149, 12.68 percent; Tompkins 642, 54.64 percent; Darr 344, 29.28 percent; Write-ins 40, 3.4 percent.

Edgewood Baptist Church, 3564 Forrest Road.

LaJoye 320, 18.53 percent; Tompkins 764, 44.24 percent; Darr 590, 34.16 percent; Write-ins 53, 3.07 percent.

Psalmond Road Recreation Center, 6500 Psalmond Road.

LaJoye 1,370, 31.12 percent; Tompkins 1,422, 32.3 percent; Darr 1,521, 34.55 percent; Write-ins 89, 2.02 percent.

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