DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis easily fended off two Democratic challengers to his seat in Tuesday's primary.
The incumbent, first elected CEO in 2008, walked away with more than 60 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff, according to preliminary returns early Wednesday morning, defeating Gregory Adams and Jerome Edmondson. He faces no Republican challengers in the November election, so his primary win is tantamount to victory.
Out of 75,399 votes, Ellis had 45,867, though more than 5,000 absentee votes had yet to be counted.
"We've always talked about making your priorities the priorities of this county. That's what we stand for," Ellis told a room of supporters at about 10:30pm. "Tomorrow we get back to work."
In his campaign, Ellis reminded voters he cut more than $130 million from the county's budget since his election, and he highlighted improvements to local parks and community and senior centers.
Edmondson, a businessman, told voters he wanted to improve county infrastructure and lure business and jobs to the county through public-private partnerships and other ventures. Adams, a pastor and former DeKalb County police officer, said he wanted to improve life for the county's public safety workers, lure jobs and business to DeKalb and cut the county's deficit.
Reached last night around 11pm, Adams said he was confident he could take Ellis to a runoff. Edmondson could not be reached for comment.