Commission candidate’s death makes election a moot point

The death of a south Grady County man Thursday has made an upcoming Republican primary election a moot point.
Richard Douglas Kuhne II, 55, died at Grady General Hospital last week. Kuhne was a candidate for the District 3 seat on the Grady County Commission and was slated to face Republican candidate Keith Moye in the May 24 primary election.
Grady County Election Superintendent and Probate Judge Denise Maddox says she contacted the Georgia Secretary of State’s office Friday to determine how Kuhne’s death impacts the upcoming election.
According to Judge Maddox, the Grady County Republican Party could have opted to reopen qualifying and allow other candidates to qualify, but the local party chairman, Brandon Phillips, declined the offer.
“It is too late to have his name removed from the ballot, but we will post a deceased candidate notice at each of the voting precincts in District 3. In addition, we will include the notice in all absentee ballots we mail out,” Judge Maddox said.
“Basically, Mr. Moye is the new District 3 commissioner since no Democratic candidate qualified to run for the office,” she added.
Incumbent District 3 Commissioner and current Grady County Commission Chairman Charles Norton decided not to seek re-election when his term expires on Dec. 31, 2016.
Candidate Moye expressed his condolences to the Kuhne family when he learned of his opponent’s death Friday morning.
“This is terrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I never knew him, but no one deserves to lose their parent so young,” Moye said in reference to Kuhne’s two daughters.
Kuhne was born in Petoskey, Mich., but told The Messenger earlier this year he grew up in Tallahassee and graduated from Leon High School. He had been a resident of Grady County for the last 10 years.
In 2014, Kuhne ran unsuccessfully for election to the District 3 seat on the Grady County Board of Education.
No funeral service is scheduled, but his family is planning a visitation at the Kuhne home at 148 Jamie Rd. for Saturday, April 23 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Clark Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. A complete obituary is published on Page B8.

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