The first of two forums for candidates in the Oconee County May 24 Republican primary will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 14 at the Community Center in Veterans Park on Hog Mountain Road.
A second forum will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 25 at the North Oconee High School Auditorium, also on Hog Mountain Road.
Early voting starts on May 2. Only Republican Party races are contested in Oconee County, but, because registration in Georgia is not by party, any registered voter can ask for a Republican ballot.
Voter registration ends on April 26.
Penny Mills, a retired college administrator, and Mark Thomas, a contractor, are seeking the Republican Party nomination for Post 1 on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.
Sarah Bell, a consultant, and Mark Saxon, retired military, are seeking Post 4 on the Commission in the Republican primary. Saxon currently holds the position.
Britt James Beaver, a school counselor, and Tom Odom, a retired educator, are running for Post 1 and Chairman of the Oconee County Board of Education. Odom is the current BOE chairman.
All BOC and BOE posts are county-wide, so all of those who participate in the election will have a chance to cast a ballot for each of these races.
Ed Carson, an emergency medical practitioner, and Dale Rogers, a funeral director and embalmer, are seeking the coroner position. Carson is the incumbent coroner.
Scott Berry and Kevin “Chappy” Hynes are running for sheriff. Hynes lists his occupation as chaplain. Berry is the current Oconee County sheriff.
Oconee County is in the Georgia 46th Senate District. Incumbent Bill Cowsert, an Athens attorney, and Patricia Daugherty, a retired Oconee County educator, are seeking the Republican Party nomination for that position.
Others On Ballot
The names of other candidates, running unopposed, also will appear on the Republican Party primary ballot.
John Daniell will be listed without opposition for the Chair of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners. Daniells stepped down from Post 2 on the Commission to seek the chairmanship.
The winners of the Republican primary will run uncontested in the November general election, unless someone files to run as an independent during qualifying from June 27 to July 12.
No Democrats filed for election for any of the Oconee County offices.
Pamela Lohr Hendrix has filed to run as an independent in the race for Georgia House District 119 representative and is seeking signatures to have her name on the ballot. She needs 1,700 names of registered voters from the district, which is split roughly equally between Oconee and Clarke counties.
Incumbent Chuck Williams will appear on the Republican primary ballot on May 24 without opposition.
Format Of First Forum
The four candidates for the two Board of Commissioners posts will lead off the April 14 program at Veterans Park.
They will be followed by the Board of Education candidates, the candidates for coroner and the candidates for sheriff.
The program will end with the candidates for the Senate District 46 race.
Russ Page and I are organizing the forum. We have held similar forums in the past.
Citizens, after being recognized by Page or me, will pose their questions directly to the candidates.
Format Of Second Forum
The Oconee County Chamber of Commerce is organizing the April 25 forum.
It will begin with the Board of Commissioners races, followed by the Sheriff, Coroner and Board of Education races.
It will close with the candidates for the 46th Senate District.
Prior to the event, questions will be solicited from the Chamber membership.
Those questions will be posed to the candidates by a moderator.