Monday, March 07, 2016

First Day Of Qualifying Brings Out Oconee County Incumbents For General Assembly, Constitutional Offices

No BOC Qualifiers Yet

Oconee County’s three representatives in the Georgia General Assembly filed for reelection today, in the first day of qualifying for the May 24 primaries.

All four of the county’s constitutional officers also qualified, as did incumbent coroner Ed Carson and incumbent Board of Education Chair Tom Odom.

So far, only Sheriff Scott Berry has opposition, as Kevin "Chappy" Hynes, former chaplain to the University of Georgia football team, qualified to run against Berry in the May Republican primary.

No one filed today to run for the chairmanship of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners or for Post 1 and Post 4 on the Commission or for Post 4 or Post 5 on the Oconee County Board of Education.

That is likely to change, as qualifying continues through noon on Friday.

State Legislators

Bill Cowsert, who represents all of Oconee County as part of the 46th Senate District, filed for reelection as a Republican. Cowsert is an Athens attorney.


Regina Quick, who represents three precincts in Oconee County in the Georgia House of Representatives, also qualified for reelection in the Republican primary.

Quick’s 117th House District includes Athens Academy, Bogart and Malcom Bridge precincts in Oconee County as well as parts of Barrow, Jackson and Clarke counties.

Quick also is an Athens attorney.

Chuck Williams, who represents the remainder of Oconee County in House District 119, also filed for reelection today in the May Republican primary. Williams’ district is split about evenly between Clarke and Oconee counties.

Williams is a tree farmer and banker.

Frank Ginn, who also represents Clarke County in Senate District 47, qualified today, as did Spencer Frye, who represents Clarke County in the 118th House District. Ginn qualified for the Republican primary, while Frye qualified for the Democratic primary.

Constitutional Officers

Superior Court Clerk Angela Elder-Johnson, Probate Court Judge David Anglin, and Tax Commissioner Jennifer Riddle also qualified today.


Anglin runs in a non-partisan race, while Elder-Johnson and Riddle qualified for the Republican primary.

These three officers, plus the sheriff, are the county’s constitutional officers, meaning their positions are required by the state’s governing document.

Coroner Ed Carson, who is not a constitutional officer, also qualified to run in the Republican primary.

Bell Announced

Sarah Bell announced in an email message just before 7 p.m. today that she plans to qualify for Post 4 on the Board of Commissioners.


Post 4 is held by Mark Saxon, who has indicated he plans to seek reelection.

Bell didn’t say in her note to “friends” which primary she plans to enter, but she is a long-time Republican Party official and challenged Post 1 Commissioner Jim Luke in the Republican primary four years ago.

Bell also challenged incumbent BOC Chairman Melvin Davis in 2008 in the Republican primary and came within 100 votes of unseating him.

Daniell Announced

Davis has said he plans to retire at the end of this term, and Post 2 Commissioner John Daniell restated at the Commission meeting last week that he would be leaving that body to seek election as the Commission chair.

Luke also has announced he will not seek reelection, and Board of Education Member Mark Thomas has said he will seek Post 1.

Oconee County will need a special election in November to fill Daniell’s term if he does decide to qualify for the chair position. He must resign his current post as soon as he qualifies for the chair position.

The terms of BOE Post 4 member Tim Burgess and Post 5 member Wayne Bagley also expire.

The BOE can appoint a member to replace Thomas if Thomas does qualify for the Board of Commissioners. He must resign from the BOE to run for the BOC.


Anonymous said...

Hope to see Sarah Bell and Mark Thomas quickly put up a website with their platform and thoughts on the future of this county.

Also hoping they avoid campaign contributions from Frank Bishop and Jamie Boswell.

We need a vision for the future and no more of the good ole boy network. Please run for commissioner, Russ Page!!!

Anonymous said...

What makes you think Thomas is not part of good Ole boy network?

Good question, why doesn't Russ ever run?

Xardox said...

Rearranging these constituent districts was performed with no voter input, acknowledgement or permission.
Changing them back or making more sense along voters' wishes is pretty near impossible.
Another small example of how We the People no longer are being served but instead being served to the will those who have The Power.