Brown Patterson thought he won the District 4 seat on Laurens County Council because of the enthusiasm of his supporters.
The results Tuesday made a pretty good case.
The election was a special one to choose a successor to Rep. Stewart Jones, who won a seat in the General Assembly on April 23 in another special election. Turnout was light. Most of the citizens who voted were likely the ones most excited to do so.
Only 686 of the district’s 5,978 registered voters cast ballots. Patterson defeated Jennifer Garrett by a margin of 494-190, winning 72 percent of the total, which was 11.5 percent of those registered.
Of the people who thought to vote, the overwhelming majority thought of Patterson.
“The voter turnout was about what I expected,” Patterson said. “I was hoping it would come in a little higher, but that’s decent for a special election in the middle of July.”
The secret, if there was one, was “just getting out and meeting the people,” he added. “I made an intentional, direct effort to meet the voters and press the flesh.”
He said that “stepping out and putting my name on the ballot was a big step. … It was life-changing, really. A lot of thought went into it.”
The fact that both campaigns worked hard could be seen in yard signs dotting the district. The first sign of Patterson’s impending victory was his margin of 99-22 in absentee votes.
Garrett won four boxes, most notabley 21-9 in Hickory Tavern, but the others were 3-0, 6-2 and 2-1. Patterson won by margins of 111-39 (Laurens 5), 74-22 (Laurens 6), 66-24 (Trinity Ridge) and 59-26 (Maddens).
Technically, the vote was a Republican primary, but no Democrats filed for the seat, so Patterson’s primary victory was tantamount to a general election.