Wednesday, September 13, 2017

On First Day of Qualifying, Four Candidates File Paperwork To Run In Special Elections For Oconee County House Seats

**Two Democrats, Two Republicans**

Three candidates qualified today (Wednesday) to run in the Georgia House District 119 Special Election on Nov. 7, two as Republicans and one as a Democrat.

Deborah Gonzalez was the only candidate to qualify in House District 117. Gonzalez is running as a Democrat.

Today was the first day of qualifying, and candidates have until 1 p.m. on Friday to file their paperwork with the office of Secretary of State Brian Kemp in Atlanta.

Tom Lord qualified for the 119th race as a Republican, as did Steven Strickland. Strickland had earlier said he was considering running either as a Republican or as an independent.

Jonathan Wallace qualified to run as a Democrat in the 119th House District.

The 119th House District is split roughly equally in terms of number of voters between Oconee County and Clarke County.

Three Oconee County precincts–Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart–join precincts in Barrow, Clarke and Jackson counties in the 117th.

Four Qualifiers

Gonzalez, an Athens attorney, had announced her intention to run for the 117th seat even before Regina Quick resigned the seat late last month after being appointed Superior Court Judge.

117th In Pink and 119th In Green

Wallace, 1031 Daniell Court, in Daniells Plantation east of Butler's Crossing, had not previously announced publicly his intention to run for the 119th House District. He lists his occupation as a software development manager.

Lawton Thomas Lord, 1172 Bridlegate Drive, off Astondale Road in the south of Oconee County, is owner of Lord and Stephens Funeral Home. He announced his candidacy last month.

Steven Strickland, 1061 Arborwood Ridge in North High Shoals, announced early last week that he was running. He is director of business development for GTS, a technical services company based in Canton, north of Atlanta.

Others Announced

Chuck Williams handed in his resignation as representative from the 119th after being appointed director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Marcus Wiedower, 1081 Princeton Lane, just outside Watkinsville, a custom home builder, also has announced that he plans to run for the 119th House District seat.

Houston Gaines, a consultant from Athens, has announced he will seek the 117th House District seat.

Doug McKillip, 1200 Tanglebrook Drive off Epps Bridge Parkway, has indicated he will run in the 117th as well. McKillip is an attorney with offices in Watkinsville.

Gaines and McKillip have indicated they will run as Republicans.

No primary will be held for the special elections, and each qualifying candidate picks a party label–or no label–for the election.

If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held in December.

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