If you are not yet registered to vote, the last day to do so and be eligible to cast your ballots in the upcoming May 24 General Primary is Tuesday, April 26.
The General Election is Nov. 8.
Residents not yet registered can do so by visiting the Bulloch County Voter Registrar’s Office in the Bulloch County Annex on North Main Street, or online at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov, said Bulloch County Elections Supervisor Pat Lanier Jones.
You may also check their voting information and see a sample ballot on that site, she said.
Contested races for Bulloch County include the seats of the Bulloch County sheriff; Bulloch County probate judge; Superior Court judge; Bulloch County Commission seats 1A, 2A and 2C; and Bulloch County Board of Education Districts 1, 3, 7 and 8.
Bulloch County Sheriff
Voters will choose between two Republican candidates for this office May 24. The winning candidate in the General Primary will face Democratic candidate Keith Lamar Howard Nov. 8 in the General Election. The winner of the General Election will be the next Bulloch County sheriff.
Republican candidates appearing on the ballot May 24, seeking the sheriff’s seat, are Sgt. Noel Brown and Chief Deputy Jared Akins.
Brown is an 18-year veteran of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, holding rank of sergeant, heading the civil paper and warrants division and having also served as a patrol deputy.
Akins is 16-year-veteran of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, holding the rank of chief deputy, and has also served as patrol deputy, field training officer, and investigator.
Howard is a former Georgia State Patrol trooper and a former chief deputy of the Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office.
The office of sheriff is the highest law enforcement office in the county, supervising all divisions of the county sheriff’s office as well as the Bulloch County Jail. The sheriff works closely with the Bulloch County Commission on budget and safety issues; with court officials regarding criminal cases; and with other local law enforcement agencies county wide.
He also supervises and assists in criminal cases handled through the sheriff’s office.
The successor to this seat will replace current Sheriff Lynn Anderson, who will retire effective Dec. 31.
Bulloch County Probate Judge
Five candidates are seeking this nonpartisan office, which deals with probate matters such as estate administration, wills, marriage licenses, firearms licenses, and other matters such as legal guardianships.
Lonnie Ellis, an Iraq and Desert Storm veteran with a degree in legal studies, joins in the race with Statesboro Police Det. Kevin Wadley, former school principal Martin Waters, paralegal Lorna DeLoach and attorney Charles Aaron.
This office currently does not demand a person with a law degree; cities with populations of 96,000 or more do require a probate judge with a law degree, but Bulloch County’s population is around 72,000.
The winner of this race will replace current Bulloch County Probate Judge Lee DeLoach, who will retire Dec. 31.
Superior Court Judge, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit
Three candidates are vying for this seat, which will be vacated by the Dec. 31 retirement of Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. “Robbie” Turner.
The superior court judge hears superior court cases ranging from juvenile to civil, divorce to murder, and drug cases.
Candidates are Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Muldrew; former Assistant District Attorney and municipal Judge Martha Hall; and Mickey Kicklighter, a former chief assistant district attorney for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit.
Bulloch County Commission
While Roy Thompson, the only candidate who qualified to replace current Bulloch County Commission chairman Garret Nevil was unopposed, he leaves open his commission seat, 2C, when he assumes the chairman position Jan. 1, 2017. Nevil announced his retirement effective Dec. 31 earlier this year.
That seat, 2C, is sought by candidates Jappy Stringer, Gail Dismuke, and Gene Anderson.
Bulloch County Commission Seat 1A, held currently by incumbent Ray Mosely, also attracted opposition by candidate Hayward Fields.
A seat to be vacated by current commissioner Carolyn Etheridge, who did not seek reelection to Seat 2A, drew four candidates for that office: Curt Deal, Jimmy Hayes, Gerald Fleming and Kelphie Lundy.
Board of Education
Incumbent Bulloch Count Board of Education District 1 member Cheri Wagner is challenged by Shalah Hendrix and H. Lee Jones.
In District 3, Stuart Tedders is running unopposed for the seat that Dr. LeVon Wilson will vacate at the end of the year after choosing not to seek re-election.
In District 7, Josh Mattos and Heather Mims are vying for the seat that Mike Herndon will retire from at the end of the year.
In District 8, incumbent Maurice Hill is unopposed for re-election.
The following elected positions had only one candidate qualify for office and therefore are unopposed:
Bulloch County Tax Commissioner - James Deal, incumbent; State Court Solicitor - Joseph Cushner ( replacing current state court solicitor Joseph Cowart, who did not qualify for reelection); Bulloch County Magistrate Judge – June Braswell, incumbent; State Court Judge – Gary Mikell, incumbent; Bulloch County Clerk of Courts – Heather Banks McNeal, incumbent; and Bulloch County Coroner - Jake Futch, incumbent.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.