CHATSWORTH, Ga. – Heath Jones defeated Celeste Bargeron to win the Murray County Board of Education (BOE) District 6 seat and the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax passed in Tuesday’s primary election.
In the Republican primary Tuesday, incumbent Heath Jones took 1,385 votes and 67.46 percent to overcome Bargeron, who received 668 votes and 32.54 percent. No candidates Democratic candidates qualified to face Jones in the November general election; therefore, Jones will retain his seat on the board.
The BOE District 5 race saw Mitchell Wilson run uncontested in the Republican primary, receiving a total of 1,502 votes. Wilson is also unopposed in general election and will assume the District 5 seat on the board.
In BOE District 7, Republican incumbent Kelli Reed was also unopposed in the primary and will be unopposed in the general election. Reed took 1,553 total votes and will retain her seat on the board.
In the chief magistrate judge’s non-partisan race, Connie Reed was unopposed and garnered 2,019 total votes.
The county referendum to continue the 1 percent SPLOST for another six years was approved by voters. The referendum took in 1,689 yes votes (67.08 percent) and 829 no votes (32.92 percent). The new SPLOST will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.
In the state Senate District 54 race, Republican incumbent Chuck Payne edged out challenger J. Scott Tidwell with 5,012 total votes (52.87 percent) to Tidwell’s 4,467 (47.13 percent). Payne will move on to the November general election to face Democrat Michael S. Morgan, who was unopposed in the primary and received 1,565 total votes.
In the three state House of Representatives’ races, no candidate ran opposed in his respective party primary. In District 5, which encompasses portions of Murray and Gordon counties, Republican incumbent John Meadows received 2,596 district-wide votes while Brian Rosser took in 504 total votes in the Democratic primary. Meadows and Rosser will meet in November in the general election.
In state House District 6, which includes north Murray County and a portion of Whitfield County, Republican incumbent Jason Ridley ran unopposed in the primary and will run unopposed in the general election. Ridley received 2,090 total district votes.
The race for state House District 11, which includes portions of Murray, Gordon, and Pickens counties, Republican incumbent Rick Jasperse and Democrat Lee A. Shiver both ran unopposed in their parties’ respective primaries. Jasperse received a total of 4,865 votes across the district while Shiver took 673 total votes. Jasperse and Shiver will meet in the November general election.
In state-level races, runoff elections will be required to determine the Republican winners of the gubernatorial race, the race for lieutenant governor, and the race for secretary of state.
For governor, current Lt. Governor Casey Cagle will face current Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a runoff election July 24. Cagle took 39.01 percent of the statewide votes to Kemp’s 25.55 percent. The winner of this runoff will move on to face state Representative Stacey Abrams, who handily defeated fellow state Representative Stacey Evans in the Democratic primary. Abrams garnered 76.44 percent of the statewide Democratic votes to Evans’ 23.56 percent.
In the lieutenant governor’s election David Shafer will face Geoff Duncan in the July runoff for the Republican nomination. Shafer won 48.91 percent of the Republican votes statewide while Duncan received 26.65 percent. The winner of the runoff will face Democratic primary winner Sarah Riggs Amico in November.
The secretary of state’s race will also be decided in the July 24 runoff as Republicans Brad Raffensperger and David Belle Isle will meet for their’s party nod. Raffensperger took 34.98 percent of the Republican votes while Belle Isle took in 28.53 percent. The winner will face Democrat John Barrow in the fall general election.
In the county’s only federal election, the U.S. House of Representatives District 14 race featured Republican incumbent Tom Graves and Democrat Steven Lamar Foster both running unopposed in their parties’ respective primaries. Graves took a total of 38,235 Republican votes in the district while Foster received 10,611 votes in the Democratic primary. Graves and Foster will meet in the general election in November.
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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