Moats initially held a four-vote lead over Mike Sullivan. According to early returns, Moats won with 1,764 (50.06 percent) votes, to 1,760 votes (49.94 percent) for Sullivan.
Those totals did not include a provisional ballot, which was held aside until the county election board could confirm it as a valid vote. With that vote added to the official totals released Friday afternoon, Moats finished with a three-vote lead.
The final vote tally was Moats, 1,764, and Sullivan, 1,761.
Moats will face incumbent Sheriff J. Kelly McLendon (D) in November. McLendon was unopposed on the Democratic ballot for the July 31 primary.
In addition to the sheriff’s race, there were two other Republican runoff elections: for Polk County Commission Dist. 2 and State Senate, Dist. 31.
In the county commission race, former Polk County Commission member Ray Barber, who last served in 2008, handily defeated incumbent Ricky Clark. Barber took 1,957 votes (55.6 percent) to Clark’s 1,563 (44.4 percent).
In the State Senate race, incumbent Sen. Bill Heath was returned to office. District 31 includes all of Haralson County and part of Paulding County, in addition to Polk County.
The district vote totals were 6,400 votes (54.89 percent) for Heath, and 5,259 (45.11 percent) for Carruth.
Polk and Paulding voters widely favored Heath, but Carruth took the majority of the votes cast in his home county, Haralson.