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Independent in Hall County commissioner’s race fails to qualify

POSTED: July 9, 2014 12:24 a.m.

Steven Ellis has called off the dogs.

The political novice told The Times his campaign to qualify as an independent candidate for the District 3 Hall County Board of Commissioners race this year is coming to a close.

To get his name on the ballot, Ellis needed 935 signatures of registered voters verified by the county elections office.
But today is the deadline and he’s fallen short of that threshold.

Ellis said he has only 716 signatures.

“Hell would freeze over” before he qualified, he added.

Ellis isn’t hanging his head, though. He met Tuesday with Republican voters.

“They’re invigorated by the fact that someone is going against the grain,” he added.

Ellis already has his eyes set on the next election cycle. He said he would continue reaching out to voters in the interim years and stay up-to-date on the issues facing Hall residents.

“It’s been a learning experience,” he said. “Hopefully, these continued efforts will pay off and we can give people a fresh face and a voice.”

Incumbent Republican Scott Gibbs will now run unopposed Nov. 4 in the general election.

“I want to tell Mr. Ellis that anytime he doesn’t like anything going on to feel free to call me,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs said he agreed with Ellis that it’s unfair for independent candidates to have to collect signatures to get on the ballot.

“He paid the same thing I paid to run,” Gibbs added.

Nevertheless, Gibbs is ready to serve another term on the Board of Commissioners, and things will remain business as usual between now and the election.

“I’m looking forward to not having to run a five-month campaign,” he said.


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