Longtime Twiggs commissioner has big lead

With absentee ballots still not tallied late Tuesday, Twiggs County Commissioner Tommie Lee Bryant had a commanding lead in his bid to return to the District 1 commission post.

Bryant, 61, a Democrat, took 636 votes to Republican challenger James Holmes’ 377 votes.

Twiggs County election officials said that 443 absentee ballots still had not been counted late Tuesday.

Bryant fended off former Commissioner Wayne Hutson in July’s primary election.

The longtime commissioner has served since 1988.

Bryant declined to comment on the election results Tuesday.

According to county commission minutes, he has worked to reappoint Lonnie Ford to the tax assessors board and promote four employees to become “first clerks.” He also made a motion in August not to give himself a 2.5 percent cost of living raise in 2009, but the motion failed for a lack of a second.

Bryant is a retired Robins Air Force Base fire department official who also served a stint on the Twiggs County school board from 1982-1986.

Twiggs County election officials said about 67 percent of registered voters in the county cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election.

To reach writer Julie Hubbard, call 744-4331.