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Decision Day for Cobb Runoff Races

Voters on Tuesday will decide on a Cobb commission chairman, a South Cobb commissioner and a State Court judge, among other offices.

The combative three-week period between Tim Lee and Bill Byrne in the Cobb commission chairman's runoff campaign is nearing an end. 

Voters go to the polls again today to decide on whether to keep Lee, the incumbent, or return Byrne to his old position after a 10-year absence. 

Since there is no Democratic opponent in November, the winner of will be elected chairman for the four-year period starting in Jan. 2013.

The chairman combatants flailed away at each other late last week, with Lee accusing Byrne of being stuck in the past. Byrne, in turn, continued to charge that Lee is beholden to big business interests and supports higher taxes. 

Byrne's proactive move during the runoff was to propose , but it's hard to gauge how East Cobb voters will respond. 

Otherwise, Lee has been on the offensive, spending much of the last week of the campaign  as chairman, including his vote for an anti-gay resolution in 1993 that cost Cobb an Atlanta Olympics venue. 

In an interview Monday afternoon on WABE-FM, longtime Cobb-based political analyst Matt Towery said the race will come down to each candidate's turnout success. While Lee has outspent Byrne, Towery said Byrne's ability to pull off an upset shouldn't be underestimated. 

Republican voters will also choose between Rebecca Keaton and John Skelton for Cobb Superior Court clerk. There is no Democrat on the November ballot. 

Also up for grabs is the District 4 Cobb commission seat: Incumbent Woody Thompson has Democratic opposition in Lisa Cupid, . No Republicans will be on the November ballot.

Republicans Larry Darnell and Brad Wheeler are in the District 7 Board of Education runoff to see who will face lone Democrat and incumbent Alison Bartlett in November.

There's a Democratic runoff between Diana Eckles and Michael Smith for the State House 41 seat, which includes much of the area between Marietta and Smyrna. 

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, and a low turnout——is anticipated. For information on polling places, sample ballots and more, please visit the Cobb Elections website

Voters who chose a partisan ballot for the July 31 primary cannot cross party lines for the runoff; the non-partisan State Court judge race between Larry Burke and Marsha Lake will be included on both Democratic and Republican ballots.

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