CHATSWORTH, Ga. – UPDATE: Election qualifying concluded at noon today (Friday, March 9) across Georgia counties and the ballot for the May 22 primary election in Murray County appears set.
Connie Reed qualified Tuesday as a candidate for the open non-partisan post of chief magistrate judge in Murray County. At the end of the qualifying period Friday, Reed stood unopposed for the chief magistrate judge position.
Three seats on the Murray County Board of Education – Districts 5, 6 and 7 – round out the county-level positions in this year’s elections.
In the BOE District 5 race, Republican Mitch Wilson was the only candidate to qualify for the May 22 primary. Wilson will be unopposed as incumbent Frank Loyd opted not to run for re-election.
The BOE District 6 election will see Republican incumbent Heath Jones face challenger Celeste Bargeron in the Republican primary election.
For the BOE District 7 seat, Republican incumbent Kelli Reed will run unopposed in the primary and general elections as she was the only candidate to qualify for the post.
On the state level, Murray County is divided into three state House of Representative districts. District 5 includes the Southwest voting precinct of the county. District 6 encompasses the North, McDonald, Shuck Pen and Town voting precincts as well as the town of Eton and part of Chatsworth. District 11 includes the Carters and Doolittle voting precincts as well as the majority of the town of Chatsworth.
In the District 5 race, Republican incumbent John Meadows, of Calhoun, Georgia, was the only candidate who had qualified as of Wednesday. Brian Rosser, a Democrat and local musician who qualified Friday, will oppose Meadows in the November general election.
In the District 6 election, Republican incumbent Jason Ridley, of Chatsworth, Georgia, was the only candidate who had qualified as of Wednesday. At the close of qualifying Friday, Ridley remained unopposed in Georgia House District 6 race.
For the George House District 11 primary, Republican incumbent Rick Jasperse, of Jasper, Georgia, will be challenged by former Pickens County School Superintendent Lee A. Shiver, a Democrat, in the November general election.
The state gubernatorial race has taken shape as well. Seven Republicans and two Democrats qualified to run for governor in their parties’ respective primaries. Republican state Senator Hunter Hill, of Atlanta, and Democratic state Representative Stacey Evans, of Ringgold, Georgia, both qualified Monday to run for governor.
On Tuesday, Republican and current Lieutenant Govenror L.S. (Casey) Cagle and Democratic state Representative Stacey Abrams, both of Atlanta, joined Hill and Evans in their parties’ respective gubernatorial primaries.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, of Athens, and tech businessman Clay Tippins, of Atlanta, both qualified Wednesday on the Republican primary ballot.
On Friday, restaurateur Eddie Hayes, author Marc Urbach, of Atlanta, and certified public accountant Michael Williams, of Cumming, Georgia, all qualified to run on the Republican primary ballot. There is no incumbent in this year’s race for governor as current Governor Nathan Deal has reached his term limit.
Federally, Republican incumbent Tom Graves, of Calhoun, Georgia, represents all of Murray County in District 14 of the U.S. House of Representatives. Graves will be challenged by Democrat physician Steven Lamar Foster, of Dalton, Georgia, in the general election in November.
The deadline for voter registration in Murray County is April 23.
CHATSWORTH, Ga. – The qualifying period for the upcoming primary election in Murray County will begin Monday, March 5, at 9 a.m., according to Deputy Elections Supervisor Connie Winkler. The qualifying period ends Friday, March 9, at noon.
According to Winkler, four seats are open in this year’s primary, which includes District 5, 6, and 7 seats on the Murray County Board of Education (BOE) and the non-partisan seat of chief magistrate judge. Currently, the holders of those positions are Frank Lloyd (BOE – District 5), Heath Jones (BOE – District 6), Kelli Reed (BOE – District 7) and Chief Magistrate Judge L. Gale Buckner.
Qualifying fees for those seats are $20 for the BOE seats and $1,690.57 for the chief magistrate judge seat. Those interested in running for the open seats can visit the Board of Elections office at the courthouse annex building in Chatsworth during the business hours of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. next week Monday through Thursday and until noon Friday.
Typically, Winkler added, the county Board of Elections office qualifies only non-partisan election candidates and independent candidates. However, according to Winkler, this year, both the Democratic and Republican parties have opted for the Board of Elections to operate qualifying for all elections.
Winkler also stated of the seats, only District 7 BOE member Reed is planning to run for reelection and that Judge Buckner is retiring.
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