Qualifying to run for local offices approaching

Published 4:28 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

Qualifying for eight local elected offices is set for March 5 beginning at 9 a.m. and ending Friday, March 9, at noon.

The following are the elected offices in which local candidates may qualify:

• State Court Solicitor General is a countywide seat currently held by Benjamin David Harrell. The qualifying fee is $1,498.84. The office is partisan.

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• Three County Commission seats – District 1 currently held by George Anderson, District 4 currently held by Rusty Davis and District 6 currently held by Pete Stephens. The qualifying fee is $216.00. These offices are partisan.

• Three Board of Education seats – District 2 currently held by Keith Lyle, District 4 currently held by Dr. Sydney Cochran and District 6 currently held by Jacky Grubbs. The qualifying fee is $54.00. These offices are non-partisan.

• District Supervisor of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District, currently held by Wayne Thomas. To qualify for this office, a candidate must present a petition signed by at least 25 Decatur County electors. This is a non-partisan office. For more information on the Commission, go to www.gaswcc.org or contact its office at (706) 552-4470.

Anderson said he will run again for his seat and looks forward to continuing his work if re-elected.

“I will continue to create jobs for this community and keep the millage rate as low as possible,” Anderson said.

Stephens said he will run again, as well.

“I appreciate the support of all my constituents and county residents. I am looking forward to continuing what we have started.

Davis did not answer phone calls or respond to messages for a comment.

On the Board of Education, Lyle confirmed he would seek re-election for his seat. Grubbs is undecided. Chairman Cochran said he would not seek re-election.

““I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the board but I have decided to not run again,” Cochran said. “I have served five terms and 20 years, and I just think it’s time for someone else to carry the ball.”

For a candidate’s name to appear on the ballot, candidates must qualify for office, which basically means they must be a registered voter in Decatur County, live in a district if that office requires it, and pay a qualifying fee.

Qualifying for Republican Party, non-partisan and third-party races will be at the Board of Elections Office, located at the Courthouse Annex at 122 W. Water St. in downtown Bainbridge. Qualifying fees for all non-partisan, Republican Party and third-party races must be paid with personal or cashier check or money order. No cash can be accepted at the Elections Office.

Qualifying for Democratic Party candidates will be in the back lobby of the Decatur County Administrative Offices located at 203 W. Broughton St. in Bainbridge. Qualifying fees for candidates in the Democratic Party may pay with personal or cashier check, cash or money order.

The election for all the following races except for the district supervisor of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission will be held on Tuesday, May 22, and any necessary runoffs will be July 24. The election for the district supervisor of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission will be the Nov. 6th General Election and if necessary, the runoff will be Dec. 4.

The deadline to register to vote or to change your residency is Monday, April 23.

Advance voting begins a week later, April 30.

For voters who would like to receive an Absentee Ballot, applications are available now and you may request one at any time between now and the election. Please be sure to mark which ballot you would like, for example a Democratic or a Republican ballot.

Furthermore, a relative request an absentee ballot be mailed to you on your behalf, such as a parent if you are out of town at college.

If you are 65 years old or older, disabled, a member of the U.S. armed forces, U.S. Merchant Marines, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying said member, or a U.S. citizen residing overseas, you may request an absentee ballot and get on the “rollover” list, which will entitle you to receive an absentee ballot for each subsequent election this year.

For more information about an absentee ballot, please go to the Decatur County Elections Office webpage at http://www.decaturcountyga.gov/departments-agencies/elections-office/ If you would like an application sent to you or if you have any questions about the elections, qualifying, please call the Elections Office at (229) 243-2087.