2015-01-01 / Front Page

Some Wilkes voters will cast ballots Tuesday in special election to replace Mickey Channell

Voters in in Wilkes County’s part of state house District 120 are beginning to come in a vote early, Wilkes County Voter Registrar Debbie Anderson said.

“We’ve had 75 vote early,” she said Monday, “but we’ve had just as many come in who weren’t eligible because they didn’t live in the district.” Early voting will end Friday, January 2. “If you want to vote by mail,” Anderson said, “you must request a ballot. Call our office at 706-678-1850.”

Over the last few weeks, Wilkes County voters have been trying to learn about the candidates running for the Georgia House of Representatives seat held by the retiring Rep. Mickey Channell.

Five candidates qualified, and since one candidate needs to get 50 percent of the vote plus one to be elected, a runoff is very likely, observers say. If needed, the runoff election will be held Tuesday, February 3.

With only a few days between Channell’s announcement and qualifying, candidates scrambled to sign up. The five who qualified included retired Eatonton attorney Jesse Copelan Jr., Oglethorpe County timberman Jesse Johnson, Greensboro City Councilman Trey Rhodes, Oglethorpe County attorney

Gary Gerrard, and CEO of the Georgia Nurses Association Debbie Hackman Bartlett of Lake Oconee.

Congressional District 120 covers about half of Wilkes County, Anderson said. “Only voters in Precincts 1, 3, and 4, which are the northwestern, western, and southern parts of ¬≠Wilkes, will vote in this election,” she said.

Voters who are represented by Rep. Tom McCall and who cast their votes at the Young Farmers building or in Metasville will not vote in this special election. Five precincts will be open on January 6, including the Courthouse, the Roy L. Burns Senior Center, and The Pope Center.

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