published Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Qualifying ends for Georgia primaries

Regional races

Partisan races

District 1 State Representative: Republicans John Deffenbaugh (i), Robert Goff and Alan Painter; Democrat Thomas McMahan

District 53 State Senate: Republicans Jeff Mullis (i) and Thomas Dooley

Nonpartisan races

Lookout Mountain Judicial District State Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt (i) and Jon Bolling “Bo” Wood (i)

Catoosa County

Partisan races

• District 4 Commissioner: Republicans Dewayne Hill (i) and Ray Johnson

• District 2 Commissioner: Republicans Bobby Winters (i) and Fred Loyd.

Nonpartisan races

• Board of Education, District 2, one seat open: Jack Sims

• Board of Education, District 4, one seat open: David Moller (i)

• Soil and Water Conservation District, two seats open: Keith Bonnell, James Lyles

Chattooga County

Partisan races

Board of Education, Seat 2: Democrat Alma Lewis (i)

Board of Education, Seat 3: Democrat Eddie Massey (i)

Board of Education, Seat 4: Democrat Larry Weesner (i)

Nonpartisan race

State Court Judge: Samuel Carroll Finster (i), John R. Dennis

Dade County

• District 1 Commissioner: Republicans Mitchell Smith, Terry Phillips, Lamar Lowery

• District 2 Commissioner: Republicans Scottie Pittman (i), Nathan Baker

• District 1 school board: Republican Cindy Shaw (i) Democrats Ronald Baldwin, Jane Dixon

• District 2 school board: Republicans Summer Lawson Kelley, Jennifer Hartline, Larry G. Williams

Walker County

Partisan races

• School Board District 2: Republican Charles Wilson

• School Board District 3: Republican Mike Carruth (i)

• State Court Solicitor Patrick Clements (i)

Whitfield County

Partisan races

• County Commission District 1: Republicans Nicky Starling, Barry Robbins, Cody Holloway, Renee Davis

• County Commission District 3: Roger Krossen

• Whitfield County Schools Board District 2: Republicans Rodney Locke, Jamie Johnson

• Whitfield County Schools Board District 4: Republican Louis Fordham (i)

• Whitfield County Schools Board at-large: Republican Bill Worley (i), Brian Fossett

When Georgia’s primary election rolls around on May 20, Catoosa County residents can choose which Republican candidates they’d like to elect.

“No Democrats qualified locally,” county Custodian of Elections John Campbell said.

That’s becoming a trend, because no Democrats ran during the last primary when county-level seats were open in July 2012 — the first time in recent memory that Republicans completely dominated the ballot in Catoosa County.

Likewise, the primary ballots in Walker and Whitfield counties are solid red: Only Republicans are running for the county-level partisan slots that are open.

Dade County looks a little purple, with a mix of two Democrats and nine Republicans running for county-level office.

Across Georgia, candidate qualifying for the 2014 primary elections ended at noon Friday, according to The Associated Press. Candidates had been signing up since Monday.

As expected, Gov. Nathan Deal drew two Republican primary opponents — state School Superintendent John Barge and Dalton Mayor David Pennington. State Sen. Jason Carter is the only Democrat running for governor.

The race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss drew seven Republicans, including three GOP congressmen, and four Democrats. Plenty of Republicans also lined up to seek the open U.S. House seats being vacated by Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston.

The state school superintendent’s race proved the most crowded. The open seat drew nine Republicans and six Democrats.

One newsworthy development in Dade County is that District Three Commissioner Robert Goff resigned around noon Friday in order to run for the Georgia House District 1 seat that includes Dade and Walker counties. So it will be a three-way Republican race for District 1 among incumbent John Deffenbaugh, Goff and Alan Painter. Democratic District 1 candidate Thomas McMahan runs unopposed.

The county commission will appoint someone to temporarily fill Goff’s seat.

Chattooga County is all blue. Only Democrats are running for county-level seats in Chattooga, a stronghold for the party that once dominated southern politics. Voters in Chattooga County also will decide whether restaurants in unincorporated areas should be allowed to sell distilled spirits — liquor — by the drink.

“We’ve had requests from some of our restaurants to be able to sell,” said county Sole Commissioner Jason Winters, who put the question on the primary ballot. Two cities in the county — Summerville and Lyerly — already have approved liquor by the drink, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at 423-757-6651 or tomarzu@timesfreepress.com.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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