2012 will be a busy election year

Published 4:01 pm Friday, February 3, 2012

Georgia’s presidential primary election on March 6 is the start of a busy election year.

Fourteen of the 22 elected offices in Decatur County will be on the ballots in 2012, either in the July general primary election or the November general election, said Chief Elections Official Doris White.

Local non-partisan offices, which will be filled in the July primary, are Probate Court Judge, Chief Magistrate Judge, State Court Judge, State Solicitor and County Treasurer.

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Local partisan offices, which will be filled in the November election, include Sheriff, Tax Commissioner, Coroner and Clerk of Courts.

Three County Board of Commissioners seats and three Board of Education seats will also be up for election in 2012.

The County Commissioners whose seats will be up for re-election are Dr. David “Butch” Mosely (District 2), Dr. Charles T. Stafford (District 3) and Russell Smith (District 5). Smith is slated to be the Board of Commissioners’ chairman in 2013, if he is re-elected in November.

The Board of Education members whose seats will be up for re-election are Clarissa Kendrick (District 1), Winston Rollins (District 3) and Bobby Barber (District 5).

Of course, the next president of the United States — either incumbent Democrat Barack Obama or a Republican challenger — will be voted upon in November’s general election.


There’s still a county treasurer

Last November, the majority of Decatur County commissioners voted in favor of abolishing the position of County Treasurer. However, that action has to be introduced in the Georgia Legislature by House Rep. Gene Maddox and State Senator John Bulloch. However, since two commissioners voted against abolishing the office of treasurer and no local legislation has yet been introduced, the office will remain on the ballot for now.

County commissioners appointed Jerry Maxwell to serve as county treasurer after former treasurer Claude Shirley resigned last August; a special election to fill Shirley’s remaining term was to have been held, but Maxwell was the only candidate to qualify, and the special election was cancelled, White said.

Decatur County is one of three Georgia counties who have a county treasurer.


State legislators up for re-election

The three state legislators who represent Decatur County in the Georgia General Assembly will also be up for re-election this year. Those seats will be included on the ballots of both the July primary and the November general election.

After state legislators re-drew the districts of both the Georgia House of Representatives and the State Senate last year, Decatur County is now split across two house districts.

The new House map would group Bainbridge, Brinson and northern Decatur County — excluding Climax — in District 171 with Camilla, Pelham and part of Colquitt County. That district is currently represented by Jay Powell, an attorney from Camilla.

Attapulgus, Climax and southern Decatur County would be placed in District 173 with Cairo, Whigham and part of Thomas County, including most of Thomasville. That district is currently represented by Darlene Taylor, a businesswoman from Thomasville.

Decatur County’s current House representative in District 172 is Gene Maddox, who lives in Grady County. Maddox, 73, first took office in 2005 and was last re-elected in 2010. However, Maddox has said he will not run against Taylor to keep his seat in the legislature.

Under the new State Senate map, Decatur County will still be in Senate District 11, currently represented by John Bulloch, a farmer from northern Thomas County. The district is still comprised of Early, Miller, Seminole, Decatur, Grady and Colquitt counties, with part of Thomasville.

Bulloch served in the Georgia House between 1999-2002 and was sworn into the Georgia Senate in 2003.