The battle to be Fort Oglethorpe's mayor likely will be the most hotly contested race in Catoosa County between now and Nov. 8, but a host of other candidates also will be on the ballots.
Five candidates qualified for three Ringgold, Ga., council seats, and two incumbent Fort Oglethorpe councilmen will try to fend off two challengers each.
"I really think we're going to have a big turnout," said Orma Luckey, elections supervisor for Fort Oglethorpe.
On Luckey's ballot, incumbent Mayor Lynn Long will face former County Commissioner Ken Marks, who was forced to step down from the commission when he turned in his qualifying documents to run for mayor.
Voters in Fort Oglethorpe also will select two councilmen.
Insurance agent Derek Rogers, car salesman Steve Lanier and incumbent Councilman Johnny "Red" Smith will square off for the Ward 1 post. For the Ward 4 seat, incumbent Councilman Charles Sharrock, former councilman Harold Silcox and plumbing business owner Steve Brandon all will compete for votes.
Voters across the city will vote on all three posts, but the winner must collect 40 percent of the votes to avoid a runoff, Luckey said.
On the other side of the county, Ringgold Mayor Joe Barger will be unopposed in his pursuit of a 10th term, but candidates will run five-wide for council seats. Incumbents O.C. Adcock, Terry Crawford and Bill McMillon will face newcomers Nicholas Millwood, a teacher, and Earl Henderson, an auto parts salesman and homebuilder.
Ringgold elections superintendent Judy Pace said the three candidates with the highest vote totals would get the council seats.
Election Day is Nov. 8, but early voting begins in Ringgold Oct. 17 and the next day in Fort Oglethorpe.