2012-05-31 / Front Page

Few races contested in July 31 partisan, nonpartisan elections

After last week’s qualifying for the July 31 elections, there will be only a few contested elections in both partisan and non-partisan races.

After qualifying ended at noon on Friday, May 25, Supervisor of Elections Judge Thomas Charping announced the following candidates had qualified:

Incumbent Chief Magistrate Judge Rosa Lee Martin, and Charles Rhodes Jr. have qualified to run for the Chief Magistrate Judge position.

Incumbent District 2 Wilkes County Commissioner Ed Geddings is running for re-election, opposed by Tom Young, who qualified as a Republican.

Wilkes EMA Director and assistant coroner Blake Thompson qualified to run for Wilkes County Coroner as did Reginald Jones. Incumbent Coroner Jane Echols, now CEO of Wills Memorial Hospital, will not run again.

Incumbent Wilkes County Sheriff Mark Moore qualified with no opposition.

On the Wilkes County Board of Commissioners, District 1 incumbent Divinski Lee qualified with no opposition

Mildred Peeler, long-time incumbent Clerk of Superior Court, qualified without opposition, as did Tax Commissioner Mary Hubbard and Wilkes County Surveyor Jack Newsome.

In non-partisan races, incumbent Chairman of the Wilkes County Board of Education, Ricky Callaway, qualified with no opposition, as did incumbent school board members Andrew Jackson (District 3) Steven Albertson (District 4).

The primary election will be held Tuesday, July 31, along with the vote to approve the regional Transportation SPLOST. All non-partisan offices – school board seats, probate judge and magistrate judge – will be decided in the July 31 election. This is a change from previous elections, Judge Charping said, made by the Georgia legislature last year.

The change means that the nonpartisan offices of Chairman of the Wilkes County School Board, Board of Education seats from District 3 and District 4, along with Wilkes Probate Judge and Magistrate Judge, will be decided in the July 31 primary election.

If there is more than one candidate in any of these races and no one gets 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters will be involved in a runoff election August 21. Winners in the partisan July 31 primary may face opponents in the General Election in November, but that is rare in Wilkes County.

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