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Special election candidates weigh in on issues

Seven seek U.S. House seat; 3 try for state Senate post

POSTED: April 24, 2010 11:31 p.m.

On May 11, Hall County voters will take to the polls to choose replacement representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate.

The special elections are to fill the unexpired terms of former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins.

Deal, an 18-year Republican representative of Georgia’s 9th District in the U.S. House, resigned his post on March 21 to focus on his campaign for Georgia governor, he said.

After Deal’s resignation, Hawkins resigned from the state Senate to qualify for the special election to fill Deal’s seat.

Hawkins had previously been campaigning for the Republican nomination to Deal’s seat in the July party primary. He faces five Republican opponents — former state Sen. Majority Leader Bill Stephens, former state Rep. Tom Graves, Bert Loftman, Chris Cates and Steve Tarvin — and one conservative independent, Eugene Moon, in the special election.

Democrat Mike Freeman’s name will appear on the ballot, but Freeman has withdrawn from the race.

Like Deal, Hawkins’ state Senate seat would have been up for grabs in the November election, and candidates were already eyeing it.

The Senate district Hawkins left behind represents all of Hall County and a northern portion of Jackson County.

Three candidates — Republicans Butch Miller and Jimmy Norman along with Libertarian Brandon Givens — are campaigning for the seat in the special election.

Early voting for the election began in Hall County on April 7 and will continue until May 7.



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