Most county incumbents face GOP challengers

Fri, 05/02/2008 - 1:59pm
By: Cal Beverly

GOP qualifying list has some surprises, including 2 ex-county commissioners

Except for coroner, clerk of superior court and state court solicitor, all current Fayette County posts up for election this year will feature contested races.

Most crowded is the July 15 Republican primary race to replace retiring Sheriff Randall Johnson. Three current deputies and a former Detroit, Mich., police official will be vying for the post.

Other posts with incumbent opposition are three slots on the Fayette County Commission, three seats on the Fayette County Board of Education, probate court judge and tax commissioner.

A familiar name shows up to oppose Post 1 County Commissioner Robert Horgan. Former Commission Chairman Greg Dunn — narrowly defeated two years ago by attorney Eric Maxwell — has signed up to run against Horgan, who is seeking his first full four-year term on the board. Horgan was elected to the unexpired term of the late A.C. VanLandingham.

Political newcomer Bob Fuhrman is going head-to-head against Post 2 Commissioner Herb Frady.

And incumbent Peter Pfeifer has two challengers for the commission’s Post 3 slot: Former Peachtree City Councilman Stuart Kourajian and former county road department chief Lee Hearn.

The qualifying period for tax commissioner turned into a race when former County Commissioner Linda Wells set her sights on the seat held by incumbent George Wingo. The tax commissioner oversees the office where you get your automobile tags and pay your property taxes.

GOP voters will also decide on candidates for probate judge that include attorney and former county Election Board member Steve Kiser, Fayetteville attorney Jim Whitlock and Ann Jackson, an employee of the Fulton County Probate Judge’s office. Current Probate Judge Martha Stephenson is not seeking reelection.

And District Attorney Scott Ballard will also look forward to competition as he faces Peachtree City attorney Rudjard Hayes. That race will be decided across the Griffin Judicial Circuit, which includes all of Fayette, Spalding, Pike and Upson counties.

For Board of Education Post 1, incumbent Janet Smola faces opposition from Dave Houston. For school board Post 2, Chairman Terri Smith will be running against Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao. And incumbent Marion Key will face two challengers for her Post 3 slot: Mark R. Aasen and Carol Jensen-Linton.

The crowded race for the Republican nomination for sheriff will feature Lt. Col. Wayne Hannah, Capt. Barry H. Babb, Warrant Specialist Thomas Mindar and security consultant Dave Simmons.

Clerk of Court Sheila Studdard, State Court Solicitor Jamie Inagawa and Coroner C.J. Mowell drew no opposition in the GOP primary and also face none from Democrats in the November general election.

In state Senate races, Sen. Ronnie Chance (District 16) will face no opposition in the GOP primary in July, but will be challenged in the November election by Democrat Jerry Brillant of Tyrone.

District 34 Senator Valencia Seay must overcome a Democratic Primary challenge from Stephanie Campbell of Riverdale. That district includes the eastern swath of Fayette County to below Fayetteville and a large section of more populous Clayton County.

Two state House races are also contested in July. District 66 Rep. Virgil Fludd of Tyrone will face challenger north Fayette Connie Biemiller in the July 15 Democratic Primary. That district also includes a more populous section of south Fulton County.

At age 84, longtime District 73 Rep. John Yates of Griffin will defend his seat in the Republican Primary against Rick Williams of Brooks.

In the race for U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Republican Lynn Westmoreland (District 3) will face Democratic challenger Stephen Camp in November.

Qualifying for the posts ended at noon Friday, May 2.

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Submitted by 30YearResident on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 9:36pm.

Hmmmm, didn't the Dunn/Wells team figure it out last time that Fayette County was tired of their "rule" ?

Guess we got to show them again.

Submitted by skyspy on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 5:20am.

I guess if they can't succeed in the real working world they have to try politics again.

Submitted by kreedham on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 12:12am.

Well once again I might just have to vote in the Republican primary since the only race on the D side is for US Senate. If I do I'll at least have a vote in who gets elected.

During the last session Rep Fludd introduced the district voting bill for Fayette. We had quite a lively discussion here on the blogs and several complained that state reps from outside Fayette shouldn't tell us what to do. Now I doubt Rep Yates supported the district voting but he's from GRIFFIN. So we now have a chance for another Fayette Countian to represent us in Atlanta.

If I chose to vote in the R primary Mr Williams will get my vote. Problem is he'll have to win in Griffin too.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 3:18pm.

Should it read "And They're Off"?
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

THE BOSS's picture
Submitted by THE BOSS on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 3:26pm.

Then pretend its right.

THE BOSS's picture
Submitted by THE BOSS on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 3:10pm.

Well it’s officially open season for your favorite, or least favorite candidate(s).

So ya "Good Ol Boys" have a good weekend ya hear and rest up.

Submitted by sageadvice on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 6:23pm.

Don't understand--what is an "off?"
There is my off, and their off, but I don't know what one is!

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