Heath drew 476 votes, or 66.3 percent, compared with Rountree’s 242, or 33.7 percent.
The seat covers portions of Polk, Bartow, Haralson and Paulding counties, and it appeared late Tuesday that Heath was the overall winner as well, holding a 5,303 to 5,164 edge with all the precincts counted.
According to Polk County Republican Party Chairman Larry Reynolds, the results of the 31st District are not official, but they appear to be complete. The holdup was absentee and early voting in Paulding County. There was a discrepancy in the number of ballots requested and the number returned. There appeared to be more ballots returned than were requested. There are no details as of presstime Wednesday as to the final disposition of this discrepancy, But this is submitted as the election stand now : Bill Heath had 5,303 votes or 50.7 percent to Mason Rountree’s 5,164 votes or 49.3 percent, a difference of 139 votes. Total votes were 10,467.
This margin does not appear to fall within the automatic recount and the final count should not change unless the paper ballots are recounted and errors are found.
Heath carried all of Polk’s 11 precincts plus the absentee and early votes.
The winner faces Democrat Lester Tate in the Nov. 2 election.
Heath, a Bremen businessman, is serving his first term in the Georgia House of Representatives after defeating Tom Murphy two years ago.
Rountree, a Dallas attorney, is making his first bid for public office.
Longtime Sen. Nathan Dean, D-Rockmart, announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election to the Senate District 31 seat.
In the Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate, Cliff Oxford defeated Denise Majette in Polk County, although Majette won statewide.
Oxford received 416 votes or 57.62 percent compared with Majette’s 306 or 42.38 percent. Majette carried two boxes in Polk, Cedartown and Browning. The two candidates each had 27 votes in the Lake Creek precinct.
Majette will face Republican Johnny Isakson in the November election.
Polk County had an 8.83 percent turnout.