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Early voting now underway

Advanced voting in the July 22 primary run-off election is off to a very slow start, according to Grady County election officials.
The early voting period began Monday and as of the close of business Tuesday afternoon, only 25 local voters had cast ballots.
Of the ballots cast, 21 were republicans and four were democrats.
There is only one race to be determined by Democratic primary voters and that is the race for State School Superintendent between Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie D. Wilson.
Morgan is currently serving her sixth term in the Georgia House of Representatives where she sits on the Education, Appropriations and Health & Human Services committees and also serves as vice chair of the Innovation Subcommittee on Education. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in both sociology and drama.
Morgan and her family live in Austell.
Wilson was elected to the school board of Decatur City Schools in 2002 and served as the board chair from 2005 until 2011. In 2012-2013, she served as president of the Georgia School Boards Association. She is a native of Swainsboro, and is a graduate of Clark College. Wilson completed graduate studies in public administration at Troy State University.
Wilson and her family live in Decatur.
The two races on the Republican primary run-off ballot are for U.S. Senate and State School Superintendent.
In the runoff for the republican nominee for U.S. Senate, J.H. “Jack” Kingston faces David A. Perdue.
Kingston is currently the U.S. Representative for the First Congressional District of Georgia which includes 17 counties in southeast Georgia. He is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, and he is chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which oversees federal spending on worker safety, health, education and retirement security programs. Rep. Kingston also serves as a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Kingston is a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives having served in the Georgia General Assembly from 1985-1992. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and he and his family live in Savannah.
David Perdue, a cousin of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, is the former CEO of Dollar General and he previously worked at Sara Lee, Haggar and Reebok. He was born in Macon and raised in Warner Robins.
Perdue earned a degree in industrial engineering at Georgia Tech, as well as a master’s degree in operations research. He currently sits on the board of directors of five major corporations.
Perdue and his family live on St. Simons Island.
The winner of the Republican primary runoff will face Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, in the November general election.
The winner of the November general election will replace Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is not seeking reelection.
In the state school superintendent race, republicans must choose between Michael L. Buck and Richard L. Woods.
Buck is the son of a soldier who was born in Arizona and spent several years in Texas and Germany before his family moved to Columbia County, Ga., where his father was stationed at Fort Gordon.
A former school administrator, his career in education spans over 30 years with stints in Oglethorpe County, Columbia County, Rome City Schools and the Georgia Department of Education.
Buck has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, an educational specialist degree and a doctorate with three of those degrees being awarded by the University of Georgia.
Richard Woods has more than 22 years experience in public education and his experience is in pre-K through 12th grade at the school level. He has been a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, testing coordinator and curriculum director, to name a few.
Woods has also worked in private business as a purchasing agent and he has owned his own small business.
His education experience has been in the Irwin County School System.
Grady County election officials remind local voters that those who voted in the Democratic primary can only vote in the Democratic primary runoff and the same is true for republicans. Those who voted in the Republican primary can only vote in the Republican primary runoff.
A sample ballot is being published in this edition of The Cairo Messenger.

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