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Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across North Georgia today as voters will choose a new state representative, decide whether shoppers will pay a new sales tax and determine whether a school board can issue an $80 million loan to build a new facility.

In Atlanta, 10 candidates are vying in a nonpartisan race to replace term-limited Mayor Kasim Reed. Elsewhere across the state, there are seven special general legislative races.

Two of the key races are in Dalton, where four candidates are vying for a Georgia state House District Four seat. Republicans Eddie Caldwell, Kasey Carpenter and Beau Patton are running, as is Democrat Peter Pociask. They are trying to replace Bruce Broadrick for a one-year term after Broadrick retired in September.

To win that race, a candidate has to receive more than 50 percent of the vote. People in the Dalton area participated in a similar election in December, when four candidates ran for state Senate. That race led to a run-off in January between Republican Chuck Payne and Democrat Debby Peppers, with Payne earning the seat.

Also in the area, voters will decide today whether Dalton City Schools can issue a $50 million bond to build an academy for sixth- to seventh-grade students. The new building would alleviate the crowded middle and high schools. The $50 million price tag does not include interest. When you factor the added expense in, paid off over 30 years, school officials estimate the price tag is actually around $80 million.

There are 16 different active polling sites in Whitfield County. In Dalton alone, voters will cast ballots at city hall, the James Brown Building of Dalton State College, the Dalton-Whitfield Senior Center, Whitfield County Schools' Central Office, the Dalton Recreation Center and the Mack Gaston Community Center.

Meanwhile, in Dade and Walker counties, voters will decide whether they want to add the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. If passed, shoppers will begin to pay an extra 1 percent sales tax in April, with the added funding going to local projects such as road paving.

In Walker County, Commissioner Shannon Whitfield believes the added tax will bring in an extra $3 million per year. In Dade County, County Executive Ted Rumley thinks the extra cost at the cash register will give the local government an added $1.8 million. The cities in both counties will share the revenue.

Within Walker County, there are two municipal races for council seats. Incumbent Beacher Garmany is facing Vic Burgess in LaFayette. Meanwhile, in Chickamauga, six candidates are running, with the top three vote-getters assuming seats.

Polling sites in the county include the LaFayette Senior Center, Walnut Grove Baptist Church, Building 500 of Georgia Northwestern Technical College's Rock Spring campus, the Armuchee Valley Community Center, Mt. Pleasant Community Center, Chattanooga Valley Nazarene Church, the Kensington Fire Hall, the Rossville Civic Center, the Chickamauga Civic Center, Lookout Mountain City Hall and VFW Post 3679.

Within Dade County, voters in Trenton will make decisions on three races: two city commission seats and a referendum on whether to allow restaurant to sell liquor. Polling sites in the county include the North Dade Community Center, the South Dade Community Center, the New Salem Community Center, White Oak Baptist Church, the New Home Community Center, the West Brow Community Center and the Dade County Administration Building.

In Ringgold, voters will fill two city council seats. Four candidates are running, with the top two vote getters filling the slots. The election is taking place at city hall.

In Chatsworth, Eddie Weaver and K.W. Wong are facing off for a city council seat. The election will take place at Chatsworth's city hall. In Eton, the mayor's seat and one city council seat are contested. That election will take place at Eton's city hall.

In Summerville, the mayor's race and two city council races are contested, and voting will take place at city hall. In Trion, the mayor's race and one city council race is contested. That election will take place at the city's recreation center.

Each race with three or more candidates will go to a runoff if no candidate wins 50 percent of the votes plus one vote. Runoffs are likely on Dec. 5, according to The Associated Press.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or tjett@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.

North Georgia elections

Fort Oglethorpe

City Council Ward 2: Jim Childs (unopposed)

City Council Ward 3: Craig Crawford (unopposed)

City Council Ward 5: Paula Stinnett (unopposed)

Ringgold

Randall Franks

Jake Haynes

Rhonda Swaney

Kelly Bomar

*Two city council seats open. Top two vote getters take them.

LaFayette

Mayor: Andy Arnold (unopposed)

City Council Ward 1: Beacher Garmany vs. Vic Burgess

City Council Ward 2: Ben Bradford (unopposed)

Municipal Court Judge: Ken Maples (unopposed)

Walker County

Transportation Tax Referendum

Rossville

Jonathan Lassetter

Rick Buff

* Two city council seats open. Top two vote getters take them.

Chickamauga

Doug Cogswell

Randall Dalton

Don Martin

James Dale Powell

Evitte Parrish

Lance Tarvin

* Three city council seats open. Top three vote getters take them.

Trenton

Parks and Recreation/Animal Control Commissioner: Terry Powell vs. Kenny Jeffrey

Police Commissioner: Sandra Gray vs. John Taylor vs. Don Hicks

Liquor by the drink referendum

Dade County

Transportation Sales Tax Referendum

Trion

Mayor: Larry E. Stansell vs. Tonya Abernathy

Town Council Seat 1: Michael Casey Brown vs. Jeff “Fro” Wilson

Town Council Seat 2: Becky McWhorter (unopposed)

Town Council Seat 3: Mickey D. McGraw (unopposed)

School Board Seat 1: Darriel Broome (unopposed)

School Board Seat 2: Johnny Brimer (unopposed)

School Board Seat 3: Randy Henderson Jr. (unopposed)

Summerville

Mayor: Christopher Larry Nixon vs. Harry Harvey

City Council Seat 1: David Ford vs. Betty Brady vs. Michael Anthony Mack

City Council Seat 2: Lloyd D. “Buddy” Windle III vs. Robert William Patterson III

Menlo

Mayor: Theresa Canada (unopposed)

Town Council Seat 1: Charles Powell (unopposed)

Town Council Seat 2: Virginia Welch (unopposed)

Lyerly

Mayor: Jimmie Hartline vs. Jim Gilleland

Town Council Seat 1: Trudy Hartline (unopposed)

Town Council Seat 2: Shirley Davis (unopposed)

Council Seat 3: No qualified candidate

Dalton

City Council Ward 2: Aaron M. Marcelli vs. Annalee Harlan

City Council Ward 4: Gary D. Crews vs. Edgar Rincon

School Board Seat: Sherwood Jones III vs. Palmer Griffin vs. John Conley

School Board Seat: Steve Laird vs. Matt Evans

Dalton Schools Referendum: Should the city bond out $50.6 million (plus interest) to build a school for grades 6 and 7.

Varnell

Mayor: Tom Dickson (unopposed)

Seat 1: Ashlee Godfrey (unopposed)

Seat 2: Bill Caylor (unopposed)

Seat 4: Clyde Williams (unopposed)

Seat 5: Bob Roche (unopposed)

Tunnell Hill

City Council Post 5: Ken Gowin (unopposed)

City Council Post 3: Elizabeth Dennis (unopposed)

City Council Post 4: Hub Griffin (unopposed)

Cohutta

Mayor: Ron Shinnick (unopposed)

Council:

Greg Fowler

Sandy Clayborne

Wanda Manis

*Two city council seats available. Top two vote getters will get them.

Eton

Mayor: Billy Cantrell vs. Rene Coffey

Town Council Post 1: Anthony Ridley (unopposed)

Town Council Post 2: Joshua T. Cherry vs. Traci L. Rankin

Chatsworth

Town Council Post 1: Eddie Weaver vs. K.W. Gong

Town Council Post 2: Rhett Griffin (unopposed)

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