By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Slate of candidates set for May 24 primary
Forums popping up to hear from contenders
Placeholder Image

Now that the slate of local candidates is set for the upcoming General Primary, several events are popping up for voters to hear from the contenders.

Among the first of many forums and debates planned is tomorrow during the monthly luncheon of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber has invited each of the four candidates vying to be Dawson County's next sheriff to speak to its membership. The luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m., with the question and answer session following at noon. Sheriff Billy Carlisle announced last year that he will not seek a sixth term.

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 each plan to attend the meeting.

The luncheon will be held at the Dawson County Board of Education Professional Development Center.

The local Republican and Tea parties, along with the Foothills Republican Women, will also hold a sheriff's candidate forum from 6:30-8:30 p.m. March 29 at Dawson County Middle School.

Christie Haynes, president of the chamber, said there are plans in the works to hold forums for other candidates seeking office locally.

Of the candidates that qualified to seek office last week in Dawson County, all but one registered as Republicans. Ted Bearden, who is running for coroner unopposed, qualified as an Independent candidate.

Most of the races are likely to be determined at the conclusion of the May 24 primary, as no Democratic candidates are running. However, there is the possibility of run-offs in both the tax commissioner and sheriff's races, which each are fielding four candidates.

A single candidate must receive 50 percent plus one vote to be named the winner in a primary.

If no candidate pulls that percentage, a run-off will be held for the top two vote getters on July 26.

County Commission Chair

Billy Thurmond, who recently retired as director of Dawson County Emergency Services, and architect Peter Hill qualified to run for chairman of the commission. Three term chairman Mike Berg will not seek re-election, he has said.

County Commission, District 2

Also running for county commission are former city councilman Chris Gaines and Dawson County native Tim Davis. They are seeking the District 2 seat currently held by James Swafford, who has announced he would not seek a third term.

County Commission, District 4

Political newcomer and head of the Foothills Republican Women, Heather Hulsebus has challenged longtime Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix, who was elected as the county's first woman to the commission in 1996. She was re-elected in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Sheriff

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.

Sheriff Billy Carlisle announced last year that he will not seek a sixth term.

Tax Commissioner

The office of tax commissioner has also drawn four candidates to the race: Andrea Henson Juliette, retail manager: Johnny Glass, local businessman; Karin McKee, who ran a campaign for tax commissioner four years ago; and Nicole Stewart, licensed banking specialist.

Tax Commissioner Linda Townley has announced she will be stepping down at the end of her current term.

State and federal

Incumbent District 7 Representative David Ralston is being challenged once again by Sam "Coach" Snider, a retired educator from Ellijay.

District 51 Senator Steve Gooch will face opposition this year from retiree John Williamson of Ellijay.

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.

Running unopposed

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

Kevin Tanner, State Representative District 9

 

 

 

Friends2Follow