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2 local residents take their first stab at office

POSTED: April 28, 2010 3:32 p.m.

A Democrat on Wednesday entered the race to represent South Hall County in the state House of Representatives, but no Democrats have yet committed to any of the county’s other local races.

Flowery Branch resident Mike Parker, 54, qualified Wednesday at the Capitol to run for the state House District 25 seat.

The seat has been held by Rep. James Mills since 1993. Mills, a Republican, has qualified to run for re-election.

As of yet, Mills has no Republican opposition.

Parker has lived in Flowery Branch since 1994 and is a mortgage loan originator for American Legacy Mortgage.

Qualifying Wednesday was Parker’s first foray into politics, he said.

“I’ve been an activist in and around politics for a while,” Parker said. “I thought it was time I take responsibility for the changes going on around me and responsibility for the things that are going wrong.”

In a race for a seat on the Hall County Commission, Republican Jones Cottrell qualified with the local party to run for the District 3 seat currently held by Steve Gailey. Gailey has said he will not seek re-election.

Cottrell, 61, lives near Clermont. This is his first bid for elected office, though he has held appointed positions.

He previously served on the Hall County Planning Commission for more than seven years. He also served on the Watauga County Planning Commission in Boone, N.C.

Qualifying continues today and ends at noon Friday.



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