Qualifying gets slow start

Published 7:52 pm Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Qualifying for this fall’s local elections has started off slow, with only one candidate having formally registered their intent to run for office.

As of Tuesday at 5 p.m., the only candidate officially put their name on the ballot was Ben Kirbo, a Democrat, who is running for re-election as solicitor general. The solicitor general is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanor criminal offenses, traffic violations, game and fish violations in State Court.

County Commissioner Earl Perry, who returned from an Association of County Commissioners of Georgia meeting in Savannah on Tuesday, said he planned to qualify for re-election as a Democrat on Wednesday. According to Perry, who said he had spoken with fellow Commissioner Gary Phillips on Tuesday, Phillips plans to qualify for re-election as a Republican on Wednesday.

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Perry represents an area around and including Attapulgus, while Phillips represents northwestern Decatur County, including Brinson.

So far, no one has yet qualified for County Commission District 4 seat, which roughly represents the portion of Bainbridge south and east of the intersection of Scott and Shotwell streets.

Incumbent Commissioner Palmer Rich has said he does not intend to run for re-election. Retirees Frank Loeffler and Ted Snell have expressed interest in running for Rich’s seat but have yet to make it formal.

Local attorney Ryan Cleveland, who is hosting qualifying for Republican candidates at his law firm on Water Street, said no one had qualified as of Tuesday afternoon. However, he said he has talked with several potential candidates for office.

Qualifying will continue on Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Democratic Party qualifying is being conducted in the foyer of commissioners’ meeting room at the County Administration Building at 203 W. Broughton St.

Independent and nonpartisan candidates, including those for Board of Education, will qualify between June 28 to July 2.