State Rep. Ed Rynders, the chairman of the House Governmental Affairs Committee, calls for a vote Wednesday on Senate Bill 403. The committee endorsed the legislation, which would replace Georgia’s voting machines. The bill would allow for paper ballots to be used for auditing election results. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Two former mayors, both Republicans, advance to Georgia House runoff

A special election for a Southwest Georgia state House seat is heading to a runoff between two former mayors, Republicans Jim Quinn and Bill Yearta.

Quinn and Yearta received the most votes in Tuesday’s special election in the four-candidate race to replace former state Rep. Ed Rynders, R-Albany.

A special election runoff will be held Dec. 3 since neither candidate won more than 50% of the votes cast.

Quinn, a former journalist, served as mayor of Leesburg for 12 years before running for the vacated House seat. Yearta, a jeweler, served as mayor of Sylvester for 17 years and resigned earlier this year for his House run. 

Quinn received about 41.6% of the nearly 9,300 ballots cast on Tuesday, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office. Yearta secured 34.3% of votes cast.

Mary Egler, the lone Democrat in the race, came in third place. Tyler Johnson, a Republican, finished in fourth place.

Rynders announced his retirement in September, citing health reasons and plans to move to St. Simons Island.

The winner of the runoff will represent voters in House District 152 in Lee, Sumter and Worth counties.

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