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Races for solicitor, sheriff, coroner, 3 BOE seats after 2 days qualifying

After two days of candidate qualifying for the upcoming party primaries and nonpartisan general election in Bulloch County, contests are confirmed for sheriff, State Court solicitor, coroner and three Board of Education seats.

Keith Howard, who had announced his intentions last year, qualified Tuesday as a candidate for sheriff. Sheriff Noel Brown had qualified Monday to seek a second term, and both he and Howard signed up as Republicans, so they will face off in the May 19 Republican primary.

Incumbent Bulloch County Board of Commissioners Chairman Roy Thompson, a Republican, qualified to run for re-election late Monday. Bulloch County Commissioner Ray Mosley, Democratic incumbent, qualified to run again for commission Seat 1A, while Republican Chris E. Akins qualified to challenge incumbent Curt Deal, also a Republican, for Bulloch County commission Seat 2A, although Deal had yet to sign up Tuesday. Republican incumbent Jappy Stringer qualified to run again for commission Seat 2C.

Democratic candidate Michele Fiorelli-Rupar officially threw her hat into the ring for the position of Bulloch County coroner, challenging Republican incumbent Jake Futch, who also qualified Monday. This race would go to the Nov. 3 general election if there are no other candidates.

Incumbent Bulloch County Clerk of Courts Heather Banks McNeal, a Republican, also qualified to run again Monday. Leslie Deal Akins qualified Monday to run for the Bulloch County tax commissioner as a Republican candidate, seeking the office from which her father, James Deal, plans to retire.

Three Republican candidates qualified Monday to run for the position of state court solicitor-general, vacated by Gov. Brian Kemp’s appointment of Joseph Cushner as state court judge. Those three are the current assistant solicitor general, Mark A. Lanier, and Ogeechee Judicial Circuit assistant district attorneys Catherine Sumner Findley and Ben Edwards.

County surveyor John A. Dotson qualified Tuesday, seeking re-election as a Republican to that office.

Judgeships and Board of Education seats are nonpartisan, and for them the May 19 election is the general election rather than a primary.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, both Glenn Womack and Ryan Brannen had qualified as candidates for the District 1 Bulloch County Board of Education seat currently held by Cheri Wagner, who as yet had not signed up.

A race was also on for the District 3 BOE seat, where Patrice Ellison qualified to challenge incumbent Stuart Tedders, who also qualified Monday. In District 7, the contest so far is between challenger Joe Glisson, who qualified Monday, and incumbent Heather Mims, who signed up and paid her qualifying fee Tuesday.

District 8 BOE member Maurice Hill also qualified Tuesday and is so far unopposed.

Qualifying ends at noon on Friday, March 6.

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