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2 Gainesville council hopefuls fail to qualify

POSTED: August 30, 2013 11:48 p.m.

Two Gainesville City Council hopefuls who filed paperwork this week did not qualify to run.

Pablo Picazo, a student, filed to run for Ward 1 as a pauper, meaning he needed 110 signatures from qualified and registered voters in the city. He got 146 signatures, but Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said only 65 could be verified.

Albert Reeves did not qualify for Ward 4 because the Elections Office determined he was not a registered and qualified voter in the city of Gainesville, something required under the city charter.

That leaves just Sam Couvillon running for Ward 1, the seat vacated by Danny Dunagan, and incumbent George Wangemann running for Ward 4.

Qualifying ended Wednesday in Gainesville, but write-in candidacy is still an option. Those interested in that option must file with the city clerk and publish a notice of intention to be a write-in candidate by next Wednesday. The candidate must then file a copy of that ad by Sept. 11, along with an affidavit affirming publication with the city clerk.

All four in the race for the new elected mayor position did qualify and include Charles Alvarez, a real estate agent; Dunagan, who served as mayor under the old council structure; Debra Harkrider, a businesswoman and nurse; and Rose Johnson, a small-business woman. The new position will be in addition to a council of five who represent five wards.

Those running for Gainesville Board of Education also qualified and include incumbent Delores Diaz for Ward 4 and Brett Mercer, who works in commercial real estate, for Ward 1, a seat being vacated by David Syfan.

A few new names likely will be added to the ballot in Clermont as three filed papers Friday to qualify, the last day in both Clermont and Gillsville to do so.

Brett Adams, who works at Hulsey Environment, Bradley Armour, a retiree, and incumbent Mary Ellen Rogers all filed to run for at-large Clermont City Council seats. They join Lynn Adams, a director with the Georgia Mountains YMCA, and Kristi Crumpton, media specialist at Mount Vernon Exploratory School, who filed papers earlier in the week. Incumbent mayor James Nix also filed for the top role.

In Gillsville, just enough people filed papers to qualify for the open seats there.

Incumbent Larry Poole filed for Gillsville mayor. Incumbents Roy Turpin and Jim Butler filed for council Posts 1 and 2, respectively.

Qualifying ended Wednesday for other cities in Hall.

Most of Flowery Branch’s races drew challengers. Notably, Shanon Lutz, wife of Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz, filed papers to battle incumbent Mayor Mike Miller.

Incumbent Tara Richards filed for the Post 5 seat on that South Hall city’s council, where she has one challenger, Chris Fetterman, who has previously served on the council. Ed Edwards, a retiree, filed papers to run for Post 3, where incumbent Fred Richards also has filed. Incumbent Joe Anglin filed for Post 4.

Oakwood’s election season will be quiet this year, with only incumbents filing papers to run: Lamar Scroggs for mayor, Sam Evans for Post 1 and Ron McFarland for Post 2.

Lula is in the same boat with incumbent Milton Turner for mayor as well as incumbents Vicky Chambers and Mordecai Wilson for City Council Wards 2 and 3, respectively.


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