Houston Gaines qualified today (Thursday) for the special election on Nov. 7 to fill the open seat for Georgia House District 117, while Marcus Wiedower qualified for the special election on Nov. 7 to fill the open seat for Georgia House District 119.
Gaines, running as a Republican, joins Deborah Gonzalez, who qualified to run as a Democrat on Wednesday.
Wiedower joins Wednesday qualifiers Thomas Lord and Steven Strickland, running as Republicans in the 119th, and Jonathan Wallace, running as a Democrat.
Only Doug McKillip among those who had announced in advance their intentions to run in the 117th and 119th has not yet qualified. Qualification remains open until 1 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) at the Georgia Secretary of State Office in Atlanta.
A candidate forum for those who qualify in the two races is scheduled for from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 9 at the Community Center in Oconee Veterans Park on Hog Mountain Road.
Disclosure Statements Filed
McKillip had filed campaign registration information on April 25 of this year.
|Gaines From Web Site|
That was before Regina Quick had resigned after being appointed late last month to a Superior Court judgeship.
McKillip had indicated his intent to run against Quick in 2018, when she was up for reelection.
Quick defeated McKillip in 2012 in a contest for the newly created 117th District following reapportionment after the 2010 Census.
|Gonzalez From Web Site|
McKillip had served in the legislature in the old 115th House District.
Gaines, Gonzalez and McKillip all filed Campaign Disclosure Reports for June 30 of this year, with Gaines reporting $66,136, Gonzalez reporting $7,842, and McKillip reporting $102,000.
McKillip had lent his campaign the $102,000 raised.
I sent McKillip an email message late this afternoon asking him if he intends to file tomorrow but did not receive a reply.
Gaines And Wiedower
Gaines, who lists his occupation on his qualifying form as a public relations consultant, is from Athens.
Wiedower lists his occupation on his form as a project manager. He is custom home builder who lives at 1081 Princeton Lane, just outside Watkinsville.
The 117th House District includes three precincts from Oconee County, Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart, as well as precincts from Barrow, Clarke and Jackson Counties.
Clarke contributes the largest percentage of the voters to the 117th, followed by Oconee.
The 119th House District is made up of the remaining 10 Oconee County precincts and the southeastern part of Clarke County.
Each of the two counties contributes roughly the same number of registered voters to the 119th District.
Chuck Williams stepped down as representative from the 119th last month after being appointed director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.
Sarah Bell, Russ Page and I, all from Oconee County, are organizing the candidate forum on Oct. 9. We have organized similar forums for past elections.
The format is citizen-centered. Citizens, once recognized by a moderator, will be asked to stand and ask their questions directly of the candidates.
We will video record the session and make it available on the Vimeo site of Oconee County Observations. Anyone can watch or download the video and use it.
We already have invited all announced or qualified candidates regardless of party affiliation.
The event will be open to the public.
We will give priority in asking questions to citizens from the four counties included in the two districts.
Dignified, issue-oriented debate among qualified candidates is a good thing for the Oconee area, good for Georgia, and good for America.
It is time for different points of view to be weighed,
as well as some debate about the current business-as-usual.
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