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Primary election is set for Tuesday
Election tab Page 01
Click the link below for the Dawson County Election Guide 2016.

Advanced voting continues through Friday for Tuesday's General Primary election.

Polls at the county's three precincts will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Election Day.

The local ballot features contested races for the county's District 2, District 4 and commission chairman seats, tax commissioner, and sheriff, as well as for the state House District 7 and state Senate District 51 posts.

Former City Councilman Chris Gaines and political newcomer Tim Davis are vying to succeed two-term Commissioner James Swafford for the District 2 seat. Swafford is not seeking re-election.

Longtime Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix has been challenged by Heather Hulsebus, a mainstay with the local Republican organizations, for the District 4 commission seat.

Billy Thurmond, who retired as Dawson County's Emergency Services director late last year, and Peter Hill, a local architect and development authority board member, are seeking the county's commission chairman post. Current chairman Mike Berg, who has held the position for the last 12 years, did not seek a fourth term.

Four candidates: Johnny Glass, Andi Henson Juliette, Karin McKee and Nicole Stewart are contending to be the county's next tax commissioner. Linda Townley, who has held the position for three four-year terms, is retiring at the end of the year.

The sheriff's race is also fielding four candidates.

Jeff Johnson, commander of the Dawson County Detention Center; Jeff Perry, a retired parole chief; Frank Sosebee, chief of security at the Hall County Correctional Institution; and Tony Wooten, captain of the county's community policing program and sheriff's office spokesman, all qualified to run for the position. All are also new to the political scene.

A candidate must secure 50 percent plus one vote to claim victory. If that doesn't happen, the top two vote-getters head to a July 26 runoff election.

In the House race, Sam "Coach" Snider has challenged incumbent Rep. David Ralston for the District 7 post. Ralston defeated Snyder four years ago to retain his seat.

Of Dawson County's 13,246 active registered voters, 1,820 are in District 7, which spans west from the Emma community at Crane Road on Hwy. 136 and Afton Road on Elliott Family Parkway.

The 51st Senate contest has John Williamson of Ellijay challenging Incumbent Steve Gooch, two term senator from Dahlonega.

On the federal level, Roger Fitzpatrick of Cleveland, Bernie Fontaine of Suches, Mike Scupin of Cumming and Paul C. Braun of Cleveland filed to challenge Doug Collins for the 9th Congressional District seat.

The early voting period runs through Friday. As of Monday afternoon, more than 1,261 voters had cast ballots, including 154 that voted on Saturday.

"It was our biggest day yet," said Glenda Ferguson, election supervisor and voter registrar, of the Saturday voting turnout.

The elections could be determined in the May 25 primary as no Democrats qualified for the race.

However, at least one independent candidate, Robert Wiley, senior army instructor for Dawson County High School's JROTC program, has announced he plans to run for the District 2 Commission seat.

In that event, the District 2 race will be decided Nov 8.

For an independent candidate's name to appear on the ballot, the candidate must collect signatures from 5 percent of the total number of registered eligible voters in the last election for their respective office.

Independent candidate qualifying will be held June 27-July 1.

Several incumbents are running unopposed: Justin Power, Clerk of Superior Court; Jennifer Burt, Judge of Probate Court; Lisa Thurmond, Chief Magistrate; Ted Bearden, Coroner; Doris Cook, Board of Education District 1; Elaine Wilson, Board of Education District 2; Roger Slaton, Board of Education District 4 and Kevin Tanner, State Representative District 9.