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Clerk race to runoff
Cantrell, Power ready to keep campaigning
Power pic2
Justin Power, with is wife Sallie, celebrate with friends and family at the couple's home after he earned the most votes in Tuesday night's Dawson County Clerk of Courts special election. Power will be in a runoff with Gaye Cantrell Aug. 10. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Gaye Cantrell and Justin Power woke up Wednesday morning ready to hit the campaign trail again as they head into an Aug. 10 runoff election to become Dawson County’s next clerk of courts.


Power, 28, was the top vote-getter with 799 votes, or about 19 percent of the total, in Tuesday’s special election to succeed former Clerk of Courts Becky McCord.


The longtime clerk resigned in March amid a criminal investigation into missing funds from the clerk’s office. 


Power advances to face Cantrell, 51, who finished second in the 10-candidate field. She received 702 votes, or about 17 percent.


The pair had breakfast Tuesday morning before hitting the streets for one last day of campaigning.


“We talked about the election. I think a lot of Gaye,” said Power, a local real estate agent, who based his campaign on his moral upbringing.


Cantrell, a retired banker whose campaign has focused on decades of management experience, said Wednesday morning that she believed the results “are a win-win situation for Dawson County.”


Both thanked supporters Tuesday night after the votes were counted.


“I thank the Lord first and foremost and everybody that voted that has the confidence in me,” Power said.


Cantrell said she plans to spend the next few weeks leading up to the runoff knocking on more doors and meeting more voters.


“I’ll be knocking on doors asking all those supporters that helped me get to this point, because we’ve got to get those voters to the polls one more time,” she said.


The winners also thanked their eight opponents for what Power described as “a clean and honest race.”


“I appreciate the way all the candidates handled themselves during the election,” Cantrell said. “I’ve made some new friends.”


Other contenders in the crowded field were Lisa Henson, who finished in third place with 559 votes, and Aimee Goodson, whose 511 votes put her in fourth.


Doug Boyle was fifth with 466 votes.


Each offered congratulations to the top two vote-getters.


“It’s been a joy getting out in our community and connecting with families,” Henson said. “I wish both of the candidates ... much success. Now I’m ready to get these signs off our streets and get back to focusing on my family.”


Boyle said he walks away from the race with his head held high, proud he stepped up to the plate.


“It was a joy knocking on over 4,000 doors and meeting face to face the wonderful citizens of Dawson County,” he said. “God bless our two runoff candidates.


“I look forward to working with either of them as court services supervisor of the sheriff’s office.”


Also in the hunt for clerk of courts were Phillip Cummings, Steve Holder, Merrill Rackley, Eric Toal and Carl Volk.