The field of candidates hoping to become Dawson County’s next clerk of Superior Court continued to swell as four more have said they planned to seek election.
Philip Cummings, Aimee Goodson, Justin Power and Merrill Rackley announced their intentions in the past week.
Qualifying opened Monday for the special election to fill the clerk’s post, as well as the primary, both of which are on July 20.
Power joined Doug Boyle, Gaye Cantrell and Carl Volk, all of whom had previously declared their intentions, in qualifying on the first day.
As of Tuesday afternoon, local businessman and fellow clerk hopeful Eric Toal had not qualified.
Qualifying runs through noon Friday.
The clerk’s post was vacated earlier this year when Becky McCord resigned amid allegations she had taken thousands of dollars from office accounts.
Pam Henson, who the Superior Court judges of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit appointed after McCord’s resignation, will serve until the election.
In the event no candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote, there would be a runoff in August.
In other election developments, Gary Pichon qualified Monday to seek re-election for the county’s District 1 seat on the county commission in the July 20 primary.
Also qualifying were political newcomers Lionel Graves and Bill Minor, each of whom is running for the District 3 commission post. Incumbent Mike Connor has not publicly said if he plans to seek re-election.
On the school board, incumbents Cecil Bennett and Will Wade each qualified to run again Monday.
Meet the candidates
The following people announced in the past week that they would run for Dawson County Clerk of Superior Court:
Philip Cummings, 56, made his announcement Thursday night during a meeting of the Dawson County Republican Party.
An attorney who has lived in Dawson County since 1996, Cummings said his experience in real estate, as well as general practice, “will serve me in providing the residents and courts of Dawson County an efficient, systematic operation of the office.”
Aimee Goodson, 39, who has spent about a decade as a state agent in environmental health, said Friday she plans to seek the office.
“This is where I grew up and this is where I’d like to give back,” said Goodson, a University of Georgia graduate. “I see this as a job, not a political stepping stone.”
Goodson said the knowledge of operations she has gained while working with the various county departments would be an asset.
Justin Power, 28, said he would use his knowledge of both the legal and real estate industries to restore integrity to the office.
Power has a bachelor of business administration, with a major in management from North Georgia College & State University.
“The same desire to help others that I found rewarding in my work in law and real estate, motivates me in seeking the position of Clerk of Court,” he said.
Merrill Rackley Sr., 62, is a retired pharmacist who also spent about eight years in human resources with a nationwide retail operation. Rackley said he would bring “proven leadership built on strong Christian core values” to the clerk of court’s office. “I go into a lot of clerk’s offices and these ladies here do a wonderful job,” he said. “I just feel like I can offer some leadership there.”
Staff Writer Frank Reddy contributed to this story.