Three incumbents whose names will be on the Oconee County ballot for the May 22 primary elections picked up challengers in qualifying on Wednesday.
Joe Hunt, an Oconee County businessman, filed to run in the Republican primary against U.S. Representative Jody Hice.
Marisue Hilliard qualified as a Democrat on Wednesday to run against incumbent Bill Cowsert for the Senate District 46 seat. Hilliard is a former U.S. National Forest supervisor who lives in the south of Oconee County.
Jonathan Laster, an attorney, qualified to run as a Republican for Post 3 on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Commissioner William “Bubber” Wilkes qualified on Monday to run for re-election in the Republican primary.
Hilliard joins incumbents Deborah Gonzalez and Jonathan Wallace as Democrats qualifying in a state race that Oconee County voters will help decide in November.
Oconee County is entirely within Senate District 46.
Gonzalez represents the 117th Georgia House District, which includes three Oconee County precincts, Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart.
Wallace represents the 119th House District, which includes the remaining 10 Oconee County precincts.
Houston Gaines and Steven Strickland have qualified as Republicans for the 117th and 119th Districts respectively.
Hilliard lives at 3120 Colharm Ferry Road in the south of Oconee County and lists her current occupation as rental property owner/manager.
Laster, 48, lives at 1251 Ashland Drive off Hog Mountain Road in the west of the county.
His practice, based at 1361 Jennings Mill Road, focuses on real estate and probate law.
Wilkes was re-elected to the Commission in 2016.
U.S. Congressional District 10
Hunt, vice president of franchise relations for Zaxby’s, lives at 1011 Westminster Terrace off Rocky Branch Road.
Bradley Griffin, CEO of Optimized, a digital marketing services company, also has filed to run as a Republican against Hice in the U.S. Congressional District 10 race. Griffin is from Jasper County.
Three Democrats have qualified for the May 22 Democratic primary, seeking to challenge Hice in November.
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 Tuesday. Johnson-Green does not list a physical address, and I have been unable to reach her via the email address she listed.
Hice, a pastor from Monroe, was first elected to Congress in 2014.