BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Qualifying week has officially closed in the state of Georgia. Candidates made their intentions known as they filed in to get their names on the May General Primary ballot.
Statewide, Georgia has many seats up for grabs in the November General Election, including that of governor, which is currently held by Nathan Deal. Also being watched closely is the House of Representatives District 7 seat, which is currently held by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.
Locally, in Fannin County, three races are taking shape as candidates qualified to run for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner and two of the five seats with the Fannin County Board of Education.
FANNIN COUNTY POST 2 COMMISSIONER
The seat of Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner has been held by Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee since 2011. Sosebee will be seeking a third term in office.
Dixie Carter qualified to run on the Democratic ballot for the seat of Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner. Carter will run unopposed as a Democrat and will automatically advance forward to the General Election taking place Nov. 6, 2018.
FANNIN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) has two seats currently up for election in 2018.
The first of the two seats is held by incumbent Bobby Bearden. Bearden has been a member of the BOE for 16 years and is seeking another four-year term.
The second of the two seats being sought after on the BOE is currently held by incumbent Steve Stanley. Stanley has held a seat on the BOE for eight years.
Jeff DePaola has qualified on the Democratic ballot to run for the BOE seat currently held by Bearden. DePaola faces no other Democratic challengers and will automatically advance to the November General Election.
Incumbent Bearden will face a challenger, Marvin Allen, for the Republican nomination in the May General Primary.
Susan DeMoura qualified on the Democratic ballot to run for the BOE seat currently held by Stanley. With no other Democratic challengers in this race, DeMoura will automatically advance to the November General Election.
Incumbent Stanley will face three challengers for the Republican nomination on the May General Primary ballot. These Republican challengers are Mike Cole, Mike Sullivan and Ron Bolin.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 7
The House of Representatives District 7 seat has caused much discussion since Margaret Williamson announced her intentions to run against 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.
Both incumbent Ralston and challenger Williamson have qualified to run for the Republican nomination on the May General Primary.
Democrat Rick Day has qualified and is running unopposed. Day will advance to the November General Primary and face off against either Williamson or Ralston for the seat of Georgia House of Representatives District 7.
GEORGIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Georgia’s lieutenant governor is currently held by Casey Cagle. Cagle will not be seeking re-election for this seat as he has announced his intent to run in the Georgia governor race.
On the Democratic ballot in the May General Primary, voters will see Sarah Amico and Triana James run for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in the November General Primary.
David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, and Rick Jaffares will face each other for the Republican nomination in the race for Georgia’s lieutenant governor.
The Georgia governor seat, currently held by Governor Nathan Deal, 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.
The Democratic Party will have two candidates to choose from in the May General Primary. Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans both qualified this week in hopes of seeking the Democratic nomination.
Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, and Michael Williams will seek the Republican nomination in the May General Primary.
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 9
The United States Representative District 9 seat is currently held by Doug Collins. Collins has served as a U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 9th Congressional District since 2013.
Collins will run on the Republican ballot unopposed and advance straight to the Nov. General Primary.
Dave Cooper and Josh McCall will be seen on the May General Primary in hopes of winning the Democratic nomination. The winner of this primary election will face Collins in the General Election.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – As Qualifying Week begins in the state of Georgia, candidates have lined up to officially get their names on the ballot for the May General Primary to be held May 22, 2018, with a voter registration deadline of April 23.
One race in particular is being closely watched and it comes from Georgia’s 7th District. The seat currently held by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston is being challenged by Ellijay resident Margaret Williamson.
Williamson made her intentions clear when she announced earlier this year that she would be seeking the Republican nomination for the General Election to be held Nov. 6, 2018.
Williamson acknowledged in a statement previously released to FetchYourNews that she had mailed the “Declaration to Accept Campaign Contributions” form to the Georgia State Transparency & Campaign Finance Committee.
A 37 year resident of Gilmer County, Williamson says, “I consider it my home. My husband John and I raised our 4 children here and now enjoy our reward, the 11 of our 15 grandchildren who live in the county.”
Having studied Engineering, Marketing and Business, worked as a Healthcare professional, and owned a small business, Williamson says that her involvement in politics spans over 2 decades when she worked on her first campaign in 1994.
“As a regular visitor to the Georgia Capitol I keep informed on current legislation, especially those that affect the taxpayers of the Georgia State District 7,” Williamson said explaining that since 1994 she has remained active and aware in politics.
Williamson added, “It is distressing to see bills passed that fail to meet our needs but only help our big business and special interests groups, bills that increase our taxes, and bills that burden us with unfunded mandates, regulations, and growing number of fees that hurt our economy.”
Williamson discussed the economy of our area, citing that while leadership in Georgia likes to dote Georgia as the number 1 place to do business, that statistics of this claim does not add up.
In Georgia State District 7 the average annual income per household is below that of the national and state averages according to Williamson. She attributes this assessment to high property taxes, increasing school taxes, fees, penalties, regulations, and fuel taxes which all decrease a family’s spendable income.
Williamson says there is no one fix and added, “Without growing our tax digest, bringing in more revenue from sales tax, improving our economy, we would be left with raising our millage rate and who wants that?”
“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the U.S.,” Williamson spoke of the growing tourism to our area. “This industry now is the biggest contributor to our economy.”
“We need to work together to make our counties even more attractive,” Williamson added, “without compromising our Conservative North Georgia values.”
“I have said from the very beginning of my campaign that I am not running against,” Williamson spoke of her intentions in the upcoming year,”I am running for the people in District 7. I will work diligently to meet their needs and not those of a minority of special interests groups.”
Upon completing the qualifying process yesterday, Williamson will continue campaigning in hopes of overcoming incumbent Ralston in the May General Primary.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – ***UPDATED : WED. MARCH 7, 2018*** Qualifying week has officially begun in Fannin County. Many statewide seats are up for election in 2018, including the Georgia gubernatorial seat, which will have no incumbent, and the Georgia House of Representatives for the 7th District seat, which is currently held by Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston.
Locally, we will see candidates face off for the seat of Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, currently held by Larry Joe Sosebee, and two Fannin County Board of Education seats, currently held by Bobby Bearden and Steve Stanley.
The Fannin County Board of Elections and Registration have a busy week of officially qualifying candidates for these elections. Currently, the following contenders have qualified and will be seen on the May primary ballot:
For Post 2 Commissioner, Dixie Carter has qualified to run on the Democratic ballot. Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee and challenger Glenn Patterson have each completed the qualifying process to run for Post 2 Commissioner on the Republican ballot.
One of the two Fannin County Board of Education seats that will be voted on in the November General Election will be sought by Bobby Bearden as incumbent and challenger Marvin Allen on the Republican ballot.
Incumbent Steve Stanley will seek the second of the two Fannin County Board of Educations seats and will be challenged by Mike Sullivan. Both will be on the Republican ballot in the May General Primary.
The May General Primary will be held May 22, 2018, with a voter registration deadline of April 23.
Qualifying will continue through this week, ending March 9 at noon. All persons wishing to participate as a candidate in the 2018 election will need to qualify by this time.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Announcements continue to pour in of candidates running for local elected positions in Fannin County. The Feb. 19 Fannin County Republican Party meeting saw Post 2 Commissioner Larry Joe Sosebee declare his intent to run for re-election and announcements by two current school board members who will seek re-election for their positions.
The first announcement came from current school board member Bobby Bearden.
“At the end of this year, I’ll have 16 years as a school board member, and there’s nothing in this world I’ve enjoyed more than where I am right now,” Bearden spoke of his experience.
Bearden, a life-long Fannin County resident, spoke to attendees about living here his entire life with the exception of three years during the Vietnam War.
Bearden keeps his platform simple and listed his priorities if re-elected: “Children, children, children, and tax payers come after that.”
In regard to possible challengers, Bearden, while wanting to win and continue his legacy with the Board of Education (BOE), did say, “I’ve heard somebody is going to run against me this time and that’s fine. I think the voters of Fannin County need to elect who they think is going to do the best job.”
Bearden concluded by reminding the crowd that he continues to stand by his promise that he made years ago when he first ran for a seat with the BOE: “If I ever do anything that will cause your children, your grandkids, not to be able to go to college, lose that GAC (Georgia Accrediting Commission) accreditation, I’d step down in a heartbeat.”
The second announcement came from fellow school board member Steve Stanley. Stanley who has served with the Fannin County BOE for eight years is seeking re-election in November.
While Stanley expressed that he has issues with state funding in regard to our local school system, he stated that safety is his number one priority: “From the moment they (school children) step foot on that school bus until you pick them up at night they better be safe.”
Stanley also spoke of current grants that are being looked at and pursued for the Fannin County School System. One grant in particular would help promote literacy in Fannin County, and Stanley says it is among his top priorities: “We’re wanting to give people any materials we can to start reading.”
Stanley ended his announcement by stating, “It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.”
Both Stanley and Bearden will need to qualify to be seen on the May General Primary ballot. Qualifying takes place this week and will end Friday, March 9, at noon.