Two Democratic incumbent Jasper County Council members will retain their seats after staving off Republican challengers in Tuesday's general election.
Incumbent Marty Sauls IV, an insurance agent and president of the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce, beat mechanic Richard Arzillo for the Coosawhatchie Township council spot, with 70 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Theo Drayton, a deacon at Lovely Hills Baptist Church in Ridgeland, won out over freelance writer and photographer Kelly Champlin for the Robertville Township seat. Their race was close, with Drayton beating Champlin by about 430 votes in unofficial results.
Drayton said the results would be certified Friday.
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Both Sauls and Drayton have said they will focus on transportation, economic development and expanding the county's fire and police forces.
Late Tuesday, as he celebrated from September Oaks Vineyards in Ridgeland, Sauls said those goals have not changed.
"I'll continue to push forward on those issues," he said. "It's very humbling to be re-elected on such a large margin of victory. So many people are supporting me and have confidence in my abilities."Drayton, a retired U.S. Army colonel, said he believed his experience in office gave him an edge over Champlin.
"I want to thank everybody who voted for me."
Champlin and Arzillo, who is Jasper County's state GOP Executive Committee member, said during their campaigns that Jasper County would benefit from a return to two-party representation.
Late Tuesday, Champlin said her close race with Drayton gave her hope that Republican candidates can run in the county, and win.
"Maybe not in this election, but you know what, there will be others," she said.
Three Jasper County incumbents -- Auditor Hazel Holmes, Probate Judge Buster Kleckley and Treasurer Verna Garvin -- ran unopposed Tuesday.
Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.