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Candidates are signing on the dotted line this week confirming their intentions to run for public office as qualifying continues through Friday.
As of Tuesday, there are 13 candidates who have qualified to run for local offices, and others are expected to throw their hats into the ring before Friday’s noon deadline. There are also multi-county posts up for election this year, including superior court judgeships, seats in the Georgia General Assembly, and the congressional post that represents Grady County.
In local positions, as of Tuesday, only one candidate had qualified to run as a democrat, LaFaye Copeland, incumbent Grady County commissioner who is seeking reelection to her district 4 seat.
Former Grady County commissioner Charles Renaud also qualified to run for the District 4 commission seat, but as a republican. The winner of the democratic nomination and the republican nomination will face off in November.
Grady County Sheriff Harry Young is running as a republican and, so far, has two official opponents for the republican nomination, Steve Clark and Jared Evans, according to Jeffery Jolly, chairman of the Grady County Republican Party. Cairo Police Officer Duke Donaldson and Grady County School Resource Officer Dickie Thomas are also expected to qualify to run for sheriff.
County commissioner June Knight, district 1, will have familiar opposition for the republican nomination. Richard Jordan is making a second run for the seat. Jordan and Knight were part of a crowded field of candidates that sought to fill the post in 2017 when then commissioner Elwyn Childs had to resign due to health reasons. Knight won the post after a runoff.
District 3 commissioner Keith Moye is running as a republican and as of Tuesday did not have any challengers.
Grady County Clerk of Courts Debbie Kines and Chief Magistrate Pat Pollock, both incumbents, have qualified as republicans.
Nonpartisan candidates already declaring their plans to seek reelection include Grady County Probate Judge Denise Maddox.
Two incumbents on the Grady County Board of Education have qualified for their nonpartisan posts, Teresa Gee Hardy for district 4, and Jeff Worsham for district 1. Gerald Goosby, whose district 3 seat is up for election, had not yet qualified but is expected to do so.
So far, no one has qualified to run for county coroner or tax commissioner, but were expected to in the coming days. Incumbent coroner Rusty Powe is expected to qualify as a republican with LaTasha Copeland seeking the seat as a democrat. Grady County Tax Commissioner Barbara Darus is expected to seek reelection as a republican with political newcomer Bobby Newmons also running for the seat as a republican.
Representative Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville) and Sen. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge) have both qualified to seek reelection to the Georgia General Assembly as republicans.
Incumbent superior court judges in the South Georgia Circuit, J. Kevin Chason and Heather Hendricks Lanier have qualified with the state to seek reelection to their nonpartisan seats. Neither had opposition as of Tuesday.
District Attorney Joe Mulholland had not qualified as of Tuesday, but said he planned to do so on Thursday.
Congressman Sanford Bishop has qualified as a democrat, while Don Cole, a self described writer/minister from Cordele, will run as a republican for the district 2 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Candidates seeking election in nonpartisan elections are qualifying at the Grady County Probate Judge’s office at the courthouse.
All republican candidates are qualifying at the offices of Rockdale Transport, 750 U.S. Hwy. 84, Cairo. Democratic candidates will qualify at The Cairo Messenger, 31 First Ave. N.E.
Qualifying ends Friday at noon.
Primary voting for these elections will take place May 19.