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Election 2008: Few races in Hall County are contested
Deal gets last-minute challenger; Oliver is unopposed
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As the final hours of election qualifying tick away, candidates hold their breath in fear of the Friday surprise: an unexpected last-minute opponent.

Scroll down for list of all races in Hall County. 

For U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, a Walker County eighth-grade teacher provided the last-minute challenge.

Jeff Scott, 35, of Chickamauga qualified Friday morning as a Democratic challenger to Deal. Scott is the chairman of the Walker County Democratic Party and teaches social studies at Rossville Middle School, according to the school's Web site.

Among those avoiding opposition was Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver.
Former Gainesville City Councilman Mark Musselwhite said Friday that he had considered running against Oliver, but decided against it.

Oliver will become the first Hall commission chair to win re-election in three decades. "I'm truly honored," Oliver said, adding that there is much he wants to accomplish in his second four-year term.

Also on Friday, Hall County Coroner Marion Merck and County Surveyor Chris Patton qualified for the Republican party without opposition.

Voters in the July 15 GOP primary will have contested races for clerk of court, probate judge, tax commissioner and county commission Post 2. Democratic voters will vote on county commissioner in Post 4.

The only local race, thus far, in the November general election will be for the 25th House seat.
Judges of the State and Superior Courts, which are nonpartisan, will qualify for re-election in June and will appear on the November ballot. 

U.S. House of Representatives: Nathan Deal, R, Incumbent; Jeff Scott, D

State Senate, District 49:
Lee Hawkins, R, Incumbent

State House, District 25: James Mills, R, Incumbent; Christopher Strickland, D

State House, District 26: Carl Rogers, R, Incumbent

State House, District 27: Doug Collins, R, Incumbent

State House, District 31: Tommy Benton, R, Incumbent

Clerk of Court: Charles Baker, Jennifer Gibbs, Bob Vass, all Republicans

Coroner: Marion Merck, R, Incumbent

Surveyor: Chris Patton, R, Incumbent

Magistrate: Margaret Gregory, R, Incumbent

Probate Judge: Patti Cornett, R, Incumbent; Dan Sammons, R

Sheriff: Steve Cronic, R, Incumbent

State Court Solicitor: Larry Baldwin, R, Incumbent

Tax Commissioner: Keith Echols, R, Incumbent; J.C. Smith, R

Chairman: Tom Oliver, R, Incumbent

Post 2: Chris Masters, R; Billy Powell, R, Incumbent

Post 4: Ashley Bell, D; Deborah Mack, D, Incumbent

Post 2: Nath Morris, R, Incumbent

Post 3: Craig Herrington, R, Incumbent


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