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Democrat Primary Focus of County Primary Elections June 10

web posted May 15, 2014

COUNTY With less than four weeks before the June 10 Primaries, two in-county races are drawing most of the attention. The most important being that of Probate Judge, which is the only countywide primary election on the Democrat or Republican ballot. 24-year-veteran Probate Judge Bobby Peeler is fending off a challenge by former School Board member Sallie Cooks. District 1 County Councilman Norman Dorn is locked in a three-way battle to retain his seat in June.

Both Primary races are in the Democrat Party and some Republicans are saying they will jump over and vote in the Democrat Primary to support Judge Peeler and, those in District 1, to try to "Dump Dorn" as county council for that area as well.

In the Probate Court race, Judge Peeler has won landslide elections over his tenure, even when challenged by a Republican in the fall. However, this time he faces a primary challenge and the vast majority of Democrat voters in Edgefield County are black, making the race competitive in spite of Cooks' lack of qualifications for the job.

The winner of that race will face off against Libertarian candidate Kevin Beck in November.

The County Council District 1 race will see 22-year incumbent Norman Dorn taking on two challengers, former councilman Albert Talbert and Joe W. Quarles, in a three-way race that will likely end up in a run-off two weeks later. Some feel that the "anti-Dorn" vote will be split between Talbert and Dorn, allowing Dorn to take the seat outright. However, reviewing past election records, Dorn could see his vote totals drop to the 40% range, putting him in a run-off.

Challenged 1 on 1 in primary races, Dorn has eked out wins with less than 50 votes in the past, once by only 12 votes. The district lines have been changed since then, allowing a whole new range of possible voters into the mix making the outcome unable to be gauged by past elections - especially with Democrat voters evenly split against Dorn in the previous district.

The list of the Democrat Primary candidates are below. Following them is the complete list of County races that will be on the ballot in November.

Democrat Primary (Note: Voting in the Democrat Primary will not stop you from splitting your ballot in November)

County Council
Dist. 1
Norman Dorn (D) i
Albert Talbert (D)
Joe W. Quarles (D)

Countywide Offices
Probate Judge
Bobby E. Peeler (D) i
Sallie Cooks (D)
Winner will take on Libertarian Kev1n Beck in November.

Full listing of county elective offices and candidates:

Notations: (D) Democrat (R) Republican (L) Libertarian
i denotes an incumbent

County Council
Dist. 1
Norman Dorn (D) i
Albert Talbert (D)
Joe W. Quarles (D)

Dist. 2
Rodney Ashcraft (R) i

Dist. 3
Dean Campbell (R) i
Michael Key (D)

Dist. 4
Betty Butler (D) i

Dist. 5
Genia Blackwell (R) i
Mack A. Thomas (D)

Countywide Offices
Probate Judge
Bobby E. Peeler (D) i
Sallie Cooks (D)
Kevin Beck (L)

W. Thurmond Burnett (D) i

Bill Gilchrist (R) i

Arleen Traxler (R) i

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