BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Board of Elections and Registration (BOEAR) planned ahead for upcoming elections in 2018 at their Dec. 4 meeting.
With many county and statewide elections scheduled to take place in the upcoming year, the BOEAR is already planning ahead for the busy year. BOEAR Chairman Sonia Smith began, “We are looking at a primary in May.”
“Locally, we have Post 2 Commissioner and two school board seats, Steve Stanley and Bobby Bearden,” BOEAR Vice Chairman Mary Ann Conner added.
One of the notable political figures that could choose to run for re-election in 2018 is Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.
Ralston was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002 and represents House District 7, which includes Fannin County, Gilmer County and a portion of Dawson County. Ralston is the 73rd Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he has held since 2010.
Another key race in Georgia will be the governor’s seat. Currently held by Governor Nathan Deal, this seat will be open without an incumbent.
Deal was first elected in 2010 and has served two consecutive four year terms. According to Georgia state law, this seat is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.
Governor Deal has met the term limit criteria and will be ineligible to seek a third term in 2018.
Locally, three seats within Fannin County will be in the General Election. Fannin County Board of Commissioners, Post 2 Commissioner, currently held by Larry Joe Sosebee, will appear on the ballot.
Along with the Post 2 Commissioner seat, two of the five seats on the Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) will also be voted on in the 2018 elections. These seats, with the BOE, are currently held by board member Steve Stanley and BOE Chairman Bobby Bearden.
The General Primary is scheduled to be held on May 22, 2018, with a voter registration deadline of April 23.
Conner brought up another position that will appear in the 2018 General Election: “The Soil and Water Conservation seat, that will come up. The Soil and Water people and the state take care of all of that, and they just send us what they want on the ballot.”
The Blue Ridge Mountain Soil and Water Conservation District is represented by two district supervisors. One of the supervisors is appointed to a two-year term while the other is elected to the position and serves a four-year term.
Currently, Fannin County is only represented by one district supervisor, Damon Davenport. Richard Stanley, the elected official, passed away in late September of this year. The seat of the late Stanley will be open to candidates in the 2018 election.
A key issue in Fannin County that could make its way to the 2018 ballot is the Senior Homestead Tax Exemption. In a town hall meeting held on Nov. 16, hundreds gathered to address the possibility of eliminating the education portion of property taxes for seniors.
At this meeting, there was an overwhelming turnout opposed to this proposal. With no official word from state representatives as to whether there are plans to move forward with the passing of this exemption, Smith cautioned, “Let us not be lackadaisical, in assuming that that will not get dropped before they (state representatives) quit meeting. So let’s keep an eye on that.”
After General Primaries are held in May to narrow down candidate selection, a General Election will take place on Nov. 6, 2018. Voting registration for this election ends on Oct. 9.
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