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Field set for May 22 primaries
FAYI election

Last week, local and state candidates qualified for the Republican and Democratic primaries set for May 22.

Advance voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 30 through May 18, with Saturday voting held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 12.

Many local elections could be decided in the primary because no Democrats qualified for the positions, though a second qualifying period for independent candidates will be held June 25 through July 10 at the local board of elections and registration office on Academy Avenue.

A candidate would need to secure 50 percent plus one vote in the primary to avoid a runoff.

Incumbent Sharon Fausett was the sole qualifier for the District 1 Dawson County Board of Commissioners seat and will therefore most likely hold a second term on the board.

Fausett was elected for her first term in 2014 after two-term Commissioner Gary Pichon decided he would not seek re-election. She beat out opponents Corey Gutherie and Kevin Ellison with more than 55 percent of the vote.

She retired from the Dawson County Department of Family and Children Services.

District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby is not seeking re-election.

Tim Satterfield and Scott Allen both qualified for the position last week.

Satterfield retired as fire marshal and emergency services chief with Dawson County Emergency Services in December after 12 years with the county.

Allen currently runs All Green Outdoor Center in Dawsonville.  

The Dawson County Board of Education also has two open seats.

District 3 incumbent Karen Armstrong qualified as did Joe Stapp.

Armstrong is currently serving her first term in the position. She ran unopposed in 2014 to fill the seat of 25-year board veteran Cecil Bennett.

Armstrong works at the University of North Georgia in the Military Science Department with the Corps of Cadets.  

Stapp is the owner and licensed psychotherapist at Blue Ridge Counseling in Dawsonville.

No Democrats qualified.

Will Wade also has a shot at another term as the at-large board of education member after being the sole person to qualify.

Wade is currently serving his third term on the board. He is currently the senior vice president at Southern Bank & Trust in Dahlonega. 

In state elections, incumbent District 9 State Rep. Kevin Tanner faces newcomer Mark Hajduk in the primary.

Tanner is serving his third term, and ran unopposed in 2016 and 2014.He is a business owner and former Dawson County manager. He started work in Dawson County as a fireman in 1989 and worked for the sheriff’s office in multiple positions, including serving as chief deputy for 11 years.

Hajduk, a political newcomer, currently works as chief operating officer at Voxpopuli Inc. in Norcross, which is a marketing, graphic design and print production company.

Current Speaker of the House, David Ralston, whose 7th District includes northern Dawson County, faces Margaret Williamson in the primary.

Either Ralston or Williamson will face Democrat Rick D. Day in the general election Nov. 6.

Georgia District 51 Sen. Steve Gooch faces no challengers this year for the District 51 seat.

Gooch is serving his fourth term in office and ran unopposed in 2016.

He currently serves as the executive director for the Development Authority of Lumpkin County.

At the federal level, there is a primary race among two Democrats for a seat in congress.

Josh McCall and Dave Cooper both qualified as Democrats for the Georgia 9th District. One will face incumbent Republican Doug Collins in the general election Nov. 6.

McCall works as a teacher in Gainesville and Cooper is a retired Army soldier and has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Collins is an attorney and took office in 2013.

He is joined on the general election ballot by Robin Aaron Gilmer, who qualified as a Libertarian.

Gilmer lives in Dawsonville and is a financial auditor.

He put in an unsuccessful bid for a Georgia Public Service Commission seat in 2014.

DCN Regional Staff Writer Nick Bowman contributed to this report.