Qualifying Complete for Elections

Stephens County will have three contested county commission races in this year’s May primary.

Candidate qualifying ended Friday afternoon.

Incumbent Republican County Commissioners Stanley London and Dean Scarborough will both face opposition in their bids for re-election.

Jonesy Haygood qualified as a Republican to challenge London for the Post Four seat and Charles “Chuck” Wright qualified as a Republican to go up against Scarborough for the Post Five seat.

The other Stephens County Commission seat on the ballot this year is Post One and pits Republican Michelle Grafton against Republican Ralph Stowe.

Grafton and Stowe are also running against each other in the special election to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of the late Harold Andrews representing Post One on the County Commission.

Staying at the county level, voters will also have three contested races on the ballot for Stephens County Board of Education this year.

First, Republican Jim Bellamy qualified to run against Republican incumbent Steve Tilley for the District One, Post Two seat on the school board.  Tilley is running for his first full term after the Board of Education appointed him last year to serve the remainder of Jerry Steele’s term on the school board following Steele’s resignation.

Also on the school board, Brenda Kelley qualified as a Republican to challenge Republican incumbent Jeff Webb for the District Two, Post Two seat and Republican Laura Biggers qualified to face Republican incumbent David Fricks for the District Three, Post One seat.

Finally, Republican Rodney Moore, Jr. was the lone candidate to qualify for the District Two, Post One seat on the school board.  Sandra Childs currently holds that seat and has chosen not to run for another term.

The other county race on the ballot this year is the non-partisan post of Stephens County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.

Lakie Meeks, Russell Biggers, and Roger Sheppard have qualified for those three supervisor positions on the ballot this November.

Moving to the state level, Toccoa’s Chris Irvin will run for Georgia Agriculture Commissioner.

He qualified in Atlanta Friday as a Democrat.

Irvin is the grandson of former Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, who served in that post from 1969 until January 2011.

Chris Irvin will face Republican incumbent Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, who took over the seat from Tommy Irvin.

Meanwhile, two Republicans will square off for the 28th District State House seat representing Stephens County, Banks County, and part of Habersham County.

Incumbent Dan Gasaway of Homer and challenger Stacy Hall of Clarkesville both qualified this week for the state House seat.

Elsewhere, incumbent Republican John Wilkinson of Toccoa will be unopposed as he was the only candidate to qualify for his 50th District State Senate seat representing Stephens and surrounding counties.

Also on the state level, Russell Smith of Toccoa has qualified unopposed for another term as a Superior Court Judge representing the Mountain Judicial Circuit.

Moving to the federal level, a third candidate has entered the race for 9th District U.S. Representative.

Bernard “Bernie” Fontaine of Suches, Georgia qualified as a Republican on Friday.

He joins incumbent Republican Representative Doug Collins and Democrat David D. Vogel of Hull, Georgia in the race for the U.S. House seat representing northeast Georgia.

A complete list of state and federal candidates can be found by going to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office website, www.sos.ga.gov.