TRAVIS WALTERS News Editor
Barack Obama wins election
A record number of voters went to the polls on Tuesday. Compelled by this historic race, both parties saw a rise in the number of people coming out to vote. In the end supporters of Barack Obama were greater in number giving him the Presidency.
The focus shifts now from campaign to transition. Obama needs to quickly fill many White House staff positions. The first cabinet post to be announced will most likely be Treasury Secretary. Obama may do this to reassure voters that he is focused on the economic downturn our nation faces. Candidates like Former Federal Reserve Chairmen Paul Volcker, Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, former CEO of Goldman Sachs and New Jersey Governor John Corzine, and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Tim Geithner frequently come up in discussions. Obama may then ask President Bush to nominate whomever he chooses to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.
Obama has already asked Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel to be his Chief of Staff. This senior level position is important and shows what sort of approach Obama plans to take with his staff and administration. Emanuel takes a frank and often blunt approach to politics and working with people. Emanuel has yet to accept the position.
The transition for Obama is expected to go smoothly as he’d already been planning it for a few weeks before the election was called in his favor. As came to characterize the campaign itself, there were no leaks about this before the election ended. Obama didn’t want to appear as though he thought he’d already won.
Local Election Update
Voters in Chatham County wrapped around buildings and stretched lines down city blocks to cast around 110,000 ballots. According to the Chatham County Elections Board, voters in the county overwhelming voted Barack Obama for President and Jim Martin for Senate. However, statewide Jim Martin obtained only 46.7% of the vote. Saxby Chambliss, the incumbent, obtained 49.9% of the vote. Georgia law requires a candidate reach 50% of the vote to be pronounced the victor. A runoff will likely be held in December.
John Barrow won re-election in District 12 with 74% of the vote. The race for Sheriff ended closely with Al St. Lawrence defeating challenger Mike Jones, 50.88% to 49.07%. Full election results can be found at the Elections Board Web site.