published Monday, August 29th, 2011

Mayoral, council qualifying begins today in Northwest Georgia

by Andy Johns
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    Richard Barclift, superintendent of elections in Chickamauga

The local election season officially begins today in Northwest Georgia.

Potential candidates for several mayor's offices and city council seats can pick up papers this morning, then they have until later this week to fill out and return them to officially join the races.

"It's going to be an interesting three days," said Orma Luckey, elections officer in Fort Oglethorpe.

Cities must keep qualifying open for at least 21/2 days, but no more than five. Many local municipalities, including Fort Oglethorpe and Chickamauga, will be open three days, meaning most candidates have until the close of business Wednesday to return the applications.

Richard Barclift, superintendent of elections in Chickamauga, said the days usually are full of surprises to see who qualifies and who doesn't.

In Fort Oglethorpe, the mayor's seat and two council spots are up for election. In Chickamauga, two council posts, two school board slots and the mayor's office are in the running.

Rossville, Dalton, Ringgold, Trenton, LaFayette, Tunnel Hill, Chatsworth, Cohutta and other towns also have various offices on the ballot.

Qualifying fees for the offices range from $35 for Tunnel Hill council members to $540 for the Dalton mayor's post.

Election day is Nov. 8, but early voting begins in some cities on Oct. 18. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 11 in most cities.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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