Fairbanks projected to win Hamilton County District 1 Commission - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fairbanks projected to win Hamilton County District 1 Commissioner

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - UPDATE: Barring a ballot box miracle.

Early results suggest republican Randy Fairbanks has won the Hamilton County District 1 seat.

He won the primary in May, but faced a challenge from write in candidate,  Rhonda Thurman

Shortly after the polls closed. Early results showed Fairbanks taking a commanding lead over Thurman, by a near 2 to 1 margin

The watch parties for both candidates tell the tale. A rather quiet gathering at Wimpie's Restaurant where Thurman was headquartered.

Compare that to the Mountain City Café where Fairbanks was watching the results trickle in..

Channel 3 spoke to both candidates before the race was officially called.

But for all intensive purposes, it's Fairbanks by a near 66 percent of the vote.

"Very, very good, its very gratifying and humbling, but it feels so good we've worked so hard and there's been so many people involved with us, its been a long road but we're happy tonight and ready to serve district one," said Randy Fairbanks, Hamilton Commission 1 Projected Winner.

"Well, I'm a school board member he'll have to work with me, I'm there, I'm entrenched, I know all the numbers, I know the process, he's the one on a big learning curve, not me," said Rhonda Thurman, Write-in Candidate 

Winners will be sworn into office on Tuesday, September 2nd at 9 a.m. at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center.  

PREVIOUS STORY: We know Hamilton County's next District 1 Commissioner will be new. 

With Randy Fairbanks beating Republican Incumbent Fred Rees Skillern in the May primary.  

The question now is will Fairbanks be able to fend-off a write in challenge from Hamilton School Board member Rhonda Thurman.

READ MORE | Decision 2014 Election results

Rhonda Thurman threw her hat in the ring as a write-in a little late in this race.

She says shortly before Commissioner Skillern lost his re-election bid.

And Fairbanks says the feedback he's getting from voters is that he going through the process as opposed to Thurman could sway things his way.

We caught up with both Fairbanks and Thurman this afternoon at Daisy United Methodist Church.

As they made one final appeal to voters before they cast their ballots. Fairbanks says his campaign workers are reporting good turnouts at the voting precincts, and he believes the higher the turnout.

The greater likelihood he will win. Here's both candidates on the voter turnout factor to success..

"We've knocked on over 4,000 doors, we feel those are coming out to vote, so the higher turnout we feel those people are coming out to vote that we have touched base with and they're coming out to vote," said  Randy Fairbanks, Hamilton County Commission 1 Candidate.  

"I don't know if that's true, I just think a lot of people didn't come out to vote when Fred was running because they thought Fred was going to win they just didn't think there was a way he'd lose and I'm just hoping some of those people have awakened and decided to come out and vote this time," said Rhonda Thurman, Hamilton County Commission 1 Write-in Candidate.  

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