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Lutz beats Banks, faces Godfrey in November
Ex-Flowery Branch councilman earns GOP nod in fall election for South Hall post
Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, right, shares a laugh with Craig Lutz, winner of the Republican nomination to the Hall County Board of Commissioners, Tuesday evening during a reception at Lutz's home. Lutz, a former Flowery Branch councilman, defeated incumbent Bobby Banks to earn the Post 1 nomination. Lutz will face Democrat Paul Wayne Godfrey on Nov. 2. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Craig Lutz beat incumbent commissioner Bobby Banks in Tuesday's runoff for the District 1 Republican nomination on the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

The underdog candidate won with 53 percent of the vote, and will face Democratic challenger Paul Wayne Godfrey in the Nov. 2 election.

Lutz said he was thrilled about winning the runoff Tuesday night.

"I'm exhausted and relieved and excited and really grateful for the supporters I had that came out," Lutz said. "It's a flood of emotions."

But he said he is prepared to go back out on the campaign trail to face another opponent in November.

"We're going to have to turn around and get refocused and go back at it," Lutz said. "This is only one step."
Lutz commended Banks for his contributions to the commission.

"I want to thank him for his service. It's tough to serve like that, and I think he's done an admirable job," Lutz said.

Banks and Lutz emerged with the most votes in the July 20 primary election with fellow Republican Kimbo Senter.

Banks finished first in that race with 44 percent of the vote, shy of the majority vote needed to win outright.

Lutz finished in second with 29 percent, just slightly ahead of Senter, who earned 27 percent.

Following his loss in the primary, Senter endorsed Banks in the runoff.

But the move did not seem to hurt the Lutz campaign.

"We saw that as an anti-incumbent vote for the most part," Lutz said. "We could do a good job I thought of convincing some of the Kimbo people that we were the best alternative."

Banks did not return phone calls Tuesday night from The Times.

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