* Ron Freeman — 64.88 percent, 12,393 votes
* Duane K. Piper (Incumbent) — 35.12 percent, 6,709 votes
Source: Secretary of State elections website
For a full list of results from Tuesday's General Primary election, click here.
CUMMING – Hugging, cheering and even some joyful tears flowed at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Cumming Tuesday night as Ron Freeman, the presumptive next Forsyth County sheriff, his family and about 250 supporters watched election results come in.
Freeman’s lead of 64.88 percent, or 12,393 votes, put him well on his way to beating Incumbent Sheriff Duane Piper’s 35.12 percent, or 6,709 votes. Both candidates are Republicans.
Freeman, who spent 26 years at Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office before helping build the Brookhaven Police Department as its deputy chief of police, said he was humbled by the results.
He won every precinct, according to the Secretary of State website.
He said voters turned out for him as a “matter of transparency and integrity, and the fact that we ran a race on the issues facing Forsyth County.”
“We looked at the failures we have had and the challenges for the future and our plans for the future. I believe and I hope that that resonated with the voters, from everything from school safety to our drug issues facing our community to our growth issues facing our community,”
Freeman said. “I’m humbled they trusted me.”
As projected, Freeman will take over the job in January from Piper, who was seeking his second four-year term.
Piper said he and his staff will continue to “work hard for the county” for the next seven months.
Freeman said his next steps will be to create a citizen advisory committee and start putting together plans he can implement in January “with an emphasis on keeping the community safe and serving with integrity and honor.”
Freeman said he is looking forward to working with the “dedicated men and women who serve for the sheriff’s office now” and that he has the “utmost respect” for those who put on the agency uniform.
As for the campaign, which became testy on both sides at moments, Freeman said he is “far removed from being a politician, so it was a learning experience for me. I think the citizens put their trust in us that we can protect them in the future.”