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Qualifying runs through Friday
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Candidates seeking local and state office have until Friday to qualify for the July 31 General Primary.

Qualifying began this morning and runs until noon Dawson County and state offices.

The deadline for candidates running for mayor of the city is 4 p.m. Friday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Acting Mayor James Grogan and Calvin Byrd, a former city councilman who recently resigned to run for mayor, had announced their intention to seek the chief municipal position.

County races include three seats each on the school board and commission, including the chairmanship, as well as sheriff and clerk of courts.

Also on the ballot will be the offices of chief magistrate, probate judge, tax commissioner, coroner and surveyor.

To date, each incumbent has said he or she will seek re-election. Only the incumbent sheriff and tax commissioner have drawn opponents.

Veteran lawman Kevin Ellison and political newcomer Johnny Glass plan to challenge four-term sheriff Billy Carlisle, while Karin McKee seeks to unseat incumbent Tax Commissioner Linda Townley.

At the state level, Kevin Tanner and Clint Smith are seeking the District 9 House seat currently held by Amos Amerson, who is not seeking another term.

State Rep. David Ralston, whose District 7 includes a portion of Dawson County, and District 51 Sen. Steve Gooch are seeking re-election.

Both county and city candidates qualify at the Dawson County Board of Elections and Registrations Office on Academy Avenue.

Qualifying for state races is held at the capitol in Atlanta.

To qualify, candidates must complete the proper paperwork and pay a fee.