Thomas Lord, 1172 Bridlegate Drive, off Astondale Road in the south of Oconee County, has announced that he plans to run for the 119th House District seat that became vacant on Monday when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Chuck Williams as director of the state Forestry Commission.
Lord is owner of Lord and Stephens Funeral Homes, with locations in Athens-Clarke County, Madison County and Oconee County.
Gov. Nathan Deal has 30 days after an elected office becomes vacant to call a special election, and by the end of the day today he had not done so.
Pat Hayes, Oconee County Director of Elections and Registration, said today that she has been given no guidance yet on timing for a special election for the 119th or for the 117th House District.
The 117th District also includes parts of Oconee County and is vacant because of the resignation of Regina Quick.
Others In Races
So far, Lord is the only person who has publicly indicated he plans to qualify for the 119th District seat.
|Picture Released By Lord|
Candidates in a special election get to indicate which party, if any, they would like to have associated with their name on the ballot.
In his statement released on Monday, Lord did not indicate a party and said “I look forward to meeting with voters over the next few weeks to hear their concerns, learn what issues matter most to them, and how I can work to find solutions.”
Three candidates have indicated they plan to qualify to run for Quick’s seat in the 117th.
Deborah Gonzalez has indicated she plans to run as a Democrat, and Houston Gaines and Doug McKillip have indicated they plan to run as Republicans.
Quick told me this evening that she sent in her resignation to Gov. Deal on Aug. 24, both electronically and via regular mail.
Gov. Deal had appointed her only the day before as Superior Court Judge in the Western Judicial Circuit, made up of Oconee and Clarke counties.
Kim Allen, district secretary for the 10th Judicial Administrative District, of which the Western Circuit is a part, told me yesterday that a date for Quick’s swearing in as Superior Court Judge has not yet been set.
I have not been able to learn from Williams when he submitted his resignation to Gov. Deal, but he is to start as director of the Forestry Commission on Friday. (Williams told me after I posted this report that he resigned via letter effective on 8/28/2017, the date of the announcement of his appointment.)
The next possible date for a special election on the calendar of Secretary of State Brian Kemp is Nov. 7.
Candidates cannot qualify until Gov. Deal calls for the special election and Kemp sets the date.
The General Assembly meets in early January.
Three Oconee County precincts are in the 117th House District: Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart. That district also includes parts of Barrow, Jackson and Clarke counties, with Clarke contributing the plurality of registered voters.
The remaining 10 Oconee County precincts are in the 119th District.