Harkness edges out Davis for spot in commission runoff

Bruce Harkness will be in the GOP primary runoff for the District 4 Habersham County Commission seat.

The former Demorest City Councilman clinched a spot in the runoff by polling second in a three-person race. He edged out political newcomer Trent Davis by eight votes.

Harkness will face incumbent Natalie Crawford at the polls on August 11. Whoever wins the runoff will be on the ballot in November and will be the presumptive District 4 County Commissioner since there is no Democratic challenger.

The board announced the results of a second recount late Monday, June 29. Harkness received 3,089 votes to Davis’ 3,081. Crawford was the top vote-getter in the three-person race that was held on June 9. She received 3,608 votes.

Recount redo

The board called for a redo of the initial recount after numbers in the first one failed to match the certified vote totals from election night.

In the second recount, Davis and Harkness each picked up one additional vote but the eight-point spread between them remained. After the recount results were certified, Davis thanked his supporters and the elections board.

“It’s really good to see that everything balanced out and worked out, even though it didn’t work in my favor,” Davis said when conceding. Despite his loss, he insists something good still came out of it.

“It just goes to show you, I’m just a normal everyday guy – a plumber by day – and I took on two politicians and came within eight votes,” Davis said. He hopes his experience will inspire others to run for public office. After all, he points out, there were 3,081 people in Habersham “willing to vote for the everyday guy. Just a few more and this would be a whole different thing.”

In a statement to Now Habersham after learning of his win, Harkness commended Trent, saying “he did a great job campaigning.”

“I am sure that had Trent won this election that he would have continued to work hard and would have been a great commissioner,” Harkness said. He added, he’s humbled and honored voters had enough confidence in him to put him in the runoff.

“It will be a tough race against an eight-year incumbent but I will continue to run a positive clean race,” said Harkness.

Making an early pitch for Davis’ supporters, the Demorest attorney promised to “be the voice for the working men and women in the county.

As he prepared to head out the door and leave the county elections office behind Monday night, Davis said he has no regrets.

“I hate that it didn’t go in my favor but I’m glad that we finally got it resolved and got it finished.”

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