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Election 2014: Candidate qualifying begins today

POSTED: March 3, 2014 12:08 a.m.

The qualifying period for candidates to run for elected office in Hall County begins at 9 a.m. today and ends at noon Friday. 

The primary for partisan offices will be held May 20, and the general election is Nov. 4. 

Offices up for election include districts 1 and 3 of the Board of Commissioners; posts 1 and 2, plus an at-large seat, of the Board of Education; state court judge (nonpartisan); and solicitor of state court. 

“This is the first step in getting ready for an election,” said Hall County Director of Elections Charlotte Sosebee.

Prospective candidates must file a notice of candidacy, an affidavit and pay qualifying fees. The fees constitute 3 percent of the salary for each office plus supplements.

The fee is $189 for Board of Commissioners posts; $216 for Board of Education posts; $4,876 for state court judge; and $4,355 for solicitor of state court. 

Candidates must meet a number of qualifications to run, including being a registered voter, not being a convicted felon, not owing any taxes and being a resident of the county. 

Republican candidates will file for qualification at the law office of Paul Stanley, 112 Academy St. NE, Gainesville. 

Democratic candidates will file with the Hall County elections office, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville. 

The discrepancy in filing locations comes down to money. Hall County collects 75 percent of filing fees and distributes 25 percent to the local Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the Hall County Republican Party is able to collect 50 percent of fees by having candidates file with a local law office. 

Independent and pauper candidates must file a notice of candidacy this week and a nomination petition by July 8 signed by 5 percent of registered voters eligible to cast a ballot in the last election cycle for the office they are seeking. 

An additional qualifying period for these candidates will be held between June 23 and 27. Paupers who cannot pay the qualifying fee must file an affidavit and a qualifying petition. 

Write-in candidates for partisan offices (Board of Commissioners, Board of Education and solicitor) have until Sept. 2 to file a candidacy form with the Hall County elections office and must publish a notice of intention to run in the The Times. Write-in candidates for the nonpartisan state court judge seat have until March 14 to file. 

Sosebee said she expects to be busy all week and that her office is ready for any and all comers. 

“I would say it’s just like an election,” she said. “Whether people show up or not, you have to be prepared.”


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