Murray County residents go to the polls again today to decide a runoff in the nonpartisan race for the part-time Magistrate Court Post 2.

Murray County natives Eric Hooker and John Waters finished in the top two spots in a six-way race on July 31, but neither got the 50 percent of the vote plus one needed to claim the seat. Hooker received 23.3 percent of the vote (1,338) while Waters got 21.4 percent (1,226).

Waters said recently he’s been busy reminding people to vote in the runoff.

“I’ve called more people, talked to more people, knocked on more doors than I have done before,” he said. “I’ve done everything I can think of to get my message out and to let them know there is a runoff.”

Both Waters and Hooker said one challenge has been reminding people that there is a runoff.

“A lot of people weren’t of the understanding that there would be a runoff like there would be in a Republican or Democratic primary,” said Hooker. “And then a lot of people didn’t understand it would be this week. They thought it would be in November.”

Waters served as a corpsman — similar to a medic in the Army — in the U.S. Navy from 1989-1993, where he worked with the Marines and traveled throughout the Caribbean. He has been self-employed in several ventures since 1996, and is currently the owner of Auto Tech in Chatsworth.

Waters said he is running because he wants to give something back to the community he calls home.

Hooker is a former jailer at the sheriff’s office who also worked at the Chatsworth and Fairmount police departments. He is now a vice president of Big Bob’s of America, a franchise flooring organization with an office in Dalton.

Hooker said before the July 31 vote that he was a candidate because “this is something I want to do with the community.”

“I have a great job that supports my family,” he said. “I’m doing it for the community, to be able to work with the community.”

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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