Oconee County’s two commissioners and two Board of Education members whose terms expire at the end of this year have qualified for re-election.
All four are Republicans, and no one has come forward in the first two days of qualifying to compete against any of the four in the May 22 primaries.
No Democrats have qualified so far for the four races.
As of the end of the day today (Tuesday), the race in which Oconee County voters will participate that has attracted the most candidates is U.S. Congressional District 10.
Incumbent Republican Jody Hice as qualified, as have one other Republican and three Democrats.
Qualifying continues through noon on Friday.
Hice, a pastor from Monroe first elected to Congress in 2014, has drawn opposition in the Republican primary from Bradley Griffin, CEO of Optimized, a digital marketing services company. Griffin is from Jasper County.
|10th Congressional District Georgia|
Three Democrats have qualified for the May 22 Democratic primary for the 10th Congressional District.
Chalis Montgomery, a teacher from Bethlehem in Barrow County, qualified on Monday, as did Richard Dien Winfield, a University of Georgia professor of philosophy from Athens.
Tabitha Johnson-Greene, a registered nurse, qualified today. Johnson-Green does not list a physical address, and I was unable to reach her via the email address she listed.
Hice defeated Democrat I. K. “Kenneth” Dious in the November of 2014 election, with 66.5 percent of the vote.
Hice had no opposition in the Repubican primary of 2016 and handily defeated write-in candidate Leonard Ware in the general election in November of that year.
The 10th Congressional stretches from Gwinnett County to the Savannah River and from Athens-Clarke County to Johnson County, incorporating all of 19 counties and parts of six others.
All of Oconee County is in the 10th District, and about half of Athens-Clarke County is in the district.
BOC And BOE
Chuck Horton and William “Bubber” Wilkes, representing Post 2 and Post 3 on the Board of Commissioners, qualified yesterday.
Kim Argo, Post 3 member of the Board of Education, qualified yesterday, while Post 2 Board of Education Member Amy Parrish qualified today.
Horton, 63, of 1061 Ramblewood Place, was re-elected to the Board of Commissioners in a runoff election in December of 2016. He is director of parking for the Athens Downtown Development Authority.
Wilkes, 69, of 1061 Flat Rock Road, a retired farmer, was re-elected to the Board in November of 2016.
Argo, 65, of 1230 Bent Creek Road, a retired educator, was first elected to the Board of Education in 2008.
Parrish, 48, of 2691 New High Shoals Road, a wealth advisor, was appointed to the Board of Education to fill an unexpired term in July of 2016.
Democrat Deborah Gonzalez, who represents the 117th District in the Georgia House of Representatives, has qualified, as has Democrat Jonathan Wallace, who represents the 119th House District.
Both Gonzalez and Wallace were elected in special elections in November in seats previously held by Republicans.
Houston Gaines, defeated by Gonzalez in November, has qualified for the Republican primary in the 117th, and Steven Strickland, defeated by Wallace in the 119th, has qualified for the Republican primary in that district.
Gonzalez is an Athens attorney, while Wallace is a software developer.
Gaines is a public relations consultant, and Strickland is director of business development.
Three Oconee County precincts, Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart, are in the 117th House District, while the remainder of the county is in the 119th House District.
Senate And Superior Court
Incumbent Republican Bill Cowsert has qualified for the May 22 primary for Senate District 46, which includes all of Oconee County.
Cowsert, an Athens attorney, was first elected to the Senate in 2006. He defeated Patricia Daugherty in the May 2016 Republican primary, getting 76.2 percent of the vote.
Regina Quick, an Athens attorney appointed to the Superior Court for Clarke and Oconee counties last summer, has qualified for the nonpartisan election to be held for that judgeship along with the party primaries on May 22.
Lisa Lott, also an Athens attorney, also has qualified for the Superior Court judgeship held by Quick.
Eric Wayne Norris has qualified in a second Superior Court race that will be decided on May 22.
Norris was appointed to that judgeship in 2016 and is facing his first election.
Voting And Registration
Voter registration deadline for the May 22 primary is April 24.
Early voting runs from April 30 to May 18, with Saturday voting on May 12.
A runoff election, if needed, would be on Jul 24.
Oconee County has 28,035 registered voters, according to data released today by Fran Davis at the Board of Elections and Registration meeting.
The Board of Commissioners appointed Davis chair of the Board of Elections and Registration at its meeting later this evening.
Hey, a real race is brewing. It's past time.
Campaigns allow for respectful debate, the sharpening of messages, more citizen interest, and better voting turnouts.
Sadly, in the statewide primaries of Texas yesterday, only 10.12% of Republicans turned out to cast ballots, and 6.8% of Democrats.
We will do much better around here.
What race? Look like same ole folks with no direction.
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