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Qualifying period starts Monday

Local, state, federal primaries set for May

Qualifying period starts Monday

Qualifying period starts Monday


The 2014 campaign season is already well underway, but it officially kicks off Monday with qualifying week.
Qualifying starts at 9 a.m. Monday and ends at noon Friday in Room 201 of the Bulloch County Courthouse.
The primary date for local, state and federal elections is May 20, and the runoff is July 22. By comparison, in 2012, qualifying was in late May, the primary was in late July and the runoff was in August.
In January, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill to bring the state and local elections in line with federal elections. A federal judge ruled last summer that Georgia needed to allow more time for overseas and military ballots to be received in the event of a runoff, which led to the earlier primary.
Local seats up for election are Bulloch County Commission District 1B, currently held by Anthony Simmons; District 2B, held by Walter Gibson; and District 2D, held by Robert Rushing. Board of Education seats up this year are District 2, held by Mike Sparks; District 4, held by Steve Hein; District 5, held by Vernon Littles; and District 6, held by Anshul Jain.
There is also a special election for Clerk of Superior Court to fill the vacancy left by Teresa Tucker, who resigned effective Dec. 31 after pleading guilty to two felony counts of violation of oath of public office. Charles Sikes, a former special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Statesboro office, is the interim clerk and has said he won’t run for the seat.
All legislative seats are up for election, as they serve two-year terms. Local House of Representatives seats are District 158, held by Butch Parish, R-Swainsboro; District 159, held by Jon G. Burns, R-Newington; and District 160, held by Jan Tankersley, R-Brooklet. Bulloch County is covered by one state Senate seat, District 4, held by Jack Hill, R-Reidsville.
The governor’s seat is also up for election. Incumbent Nathan Deal, a Republican, is seeking a second term, but he is in the unusual position of facing challengers from his own party, State School Superintendent John D. Barge and Dalton Mayor David Pennington. Jason Carter, a state senator from Decatur and grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, is a declared Democratic candidate.
As for federal seats, Bulloch County is entirely within the 12th Congressional District, currently held by Democrat John Barrow. Five Republicans have declared themselves candidates for the seat: Rick Allen, an Augusta construction company owner; state Rep. Delvis Dutton of Glennville; John Stone, a former congressional staffer from Augusta; Diane S. Viann, a registered nurse from Macon; and Eugene Yu, an Augusta business executive.
Georgia also has an open U.S. Senate seat, as Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss announced last year that he would not run for re-election.
This crowded race features the following declared candidates on the Republican side: U.S. Rep. Paul Broun; patent attorney Art Gardner; U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey; minister Derrick E. Grayson; U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston; and former Dollar General CEO David Perdue, a cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Declared Democratic candidates are: Oglethorpe Mayor Gerald Beckum; former state Sen. Steen Miles; former Points of Light Foundation CEO Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn; physician Branko Radulovacki; and ROTC instructor Todd Robinson.

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