Although a number of people have announced as candidates for Bulloch County and area offices in the upcoming elections, none are official until this week, when candidate qualifying will open at 9 a.m. Monday and close at noon Friday.
Candidates for county offices pay their qualifying fees and complete their paperwork at the Board of Elections office in the Bulloch County Annex, 113 N. Main St. The office is open for qualifying until 5 p.m. every day but Friday, when qualifying ceases at noon statewide.
Local offices up for election include State Court judge, Probate Court judge, sheriff, magistrate, solicitor general, coroner, and county surveyor.
On the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners, the chairmanship, currently held by Garrett Nevil, is up for election, as are Seat 1A, held by Ray Mosley; seat 2A, currently held by Carolyn Ethridge; and seat 2C, currently held by Roy Thompson. Nevil has announced his retirement as chairman, and Thompson is vacating seat 2C to seek the chairmanship, while another candidate has announced for seat 2C. Ethridge isn’t seeking re-election, either, but a different candidate has announced for 2A as well.
The Bulloch County Board of Education seats up for election are District 1, held by Cheri Wagner; District 3, currently held by Dr. LeVon Wilson; District 7, currently held by Mike Herndon; and District 8, held by Maurice Hill. Herndon has said he will not seek re-election. The Statesboro Herald published a story about one candidate seeking the District 7 seat, but has heard there may be another. Three candidates, including the incumbent, have announced for the District 1 seat. But as of Friday, the news staff had received no definite information on any candidate seeking the District 3 seat Wilson is vacating.
All races will appear on the ballots for May 24, when both the Democratic and Republican primaries and the nonpartisan election are held. Nonpartisan offices, such as judgeships and Board of Education seats, will be decided either in the May election or a July 26 runoff, but races where candidates declare a party, such as for sheriff and county commissioner, could go to the Nov. 8 general election if both parties have candidates.
The three Superior Court judgeships of the multi-county Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, currently held by Gates Peed, John R. “Robbie” Turner and William E. Woodrum Jr., are also up for election. Turner has announced he will retire, and two attorneys have announced as candidates to replace him. The district attorney is also up for election.
All Georgia General Assembly members 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.
In the U.S. Congress, all seats in the House of Representatives are up for election, so this includes Georgia’s 12th District seat held by Rick Allen, elected just two years ago. U.S. Senate seats have six-year terms, but Georgia’s senior U.S. senator, Johnny Isakson, is up for election this year.
Candidates for nonpartisan state offices, such as Superior Court judge, qualify with the Elections Division of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, which has locations in Macon and Tifton, as well as Atlanta. Candidates for state offices elected through party primaries qualify at the State Capitol and should contact the Democratic Party of Georgia or the Georgia Republican Party for exact locations, according to information on the Elections Division website.