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Last minute qualifier joins race for State House

When qualifying ended Friday a three-man race for the District 2 seat on the Grady County Commission had developed.
Incumbent District 2 County Commissioner Billy Poitevint is being challenged by civil engineer Richard Powell and local farmer Ray Prince.
All three qualified as republicans and no one qualified in the race as a democrat, so the May 20 Republican primary will be tantamount to a general election.
There will be no election for either District 2 or District 5 members of the Grady County Board of Education.
The only candidate to qualify for the District 2 school board post was Wesley Robin “Robbie” Chaplin. He qualified as a republican to replace incumbent Drew Pyrz, who chose not to seek reelection.
Likewise, David Leon “Dave” Dumas was the lone candidate to qualify for the District 5 school board seat. Dumas was appointed to the school board late last year to fill the unexpired term of Scott Higginbotham, who vacated his seat to run for mayor of Cairo. Dumas also qualified as a republican.
Another candidate who drew no opposition was State Court Solicitor General Kevin S. Cauley. He has served as the chief prosecutor in Grady County State Court since being appointed to the post on Aug. 1, 2008, by then-Governor Sonny Perdue. This will be Cauley’s second full four-year term and he, too, qualified as a republican.
The lone democratic candidate to qualify was District 5 County Commissioner T.D. David. David drew no republican opposition so he automatically earns a second term on the county commission.
As The Messenger reported last week, Joshua C. Bell, K. Todd Butler and Jami Lewis all qualified to run for judge of Grady County State Court.
Incumbent Judge Bill Bass Sr. is not seeking reelection.
Another race of local interest will be the contest for the Georgia House of Representatives, District 173, seat, which is currently held by Republican Darlene Taylor of Thomasville.
Representative Taylor will face retired veteran University of Georgia Extension Service Agent Don Clark in the May 20 Republican primary. The winner of the primary will face Keith L. Jenkins Sr., who qualified last Friday prior to the noon deadline as a democratic candidate for the state house seat.
Jenkins, a paraprofessional and resident of Thomasville, did not respond to emailed requests for a biography and a photo as of presstime Wednesday.
District 11 State Senator Dean Burke drew no opposition and automatically earns a two-year term in the state’s upper chamber.
Early voting for the May 20 primary elections will begin on Monday, April 28.

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