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Mack qualifies to seek re-election to Hall County commission
Two Republicans also to run against Piedmont DA
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BY HARRIS BLACKWOOD

hblackwood@gainesvilletimes.com

Hall County Commissioner Deborah Mack qualified for another four-year term on Wednesday. Mack will face Gainesville attorney Ashley Bell in the July 15 Democratic primary.

Also on Wednesday, Jennifer Gibbs of Clermont became the third GOP candidate for Hall County Clerk of Court. She joins J. C. Smith and former Hall County Sheriff Bob Vass. Incumbent Dwight Wood has not qualified for re-election.

Republican Craig Herrington also qualified for re-election to the Hall County Board of Education.

In the Piedmont Judicial Circuit, which includes Banks, Barrow and Jackson counties, two Republican candidates have qualified to run against Rick Bridgeman, 43, who was appointed to the post earlier this year by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Donna Sikes, 53, of Jefferson and Brad Smith, 36, of Hoschton have signed up to face Bridgeman in the GOP primary. Smith is a former assistant district attorney.

Bridgeman replaced Tim Madison, who resigned and was later sentenced to six years in prison for taking $40,000 in taxpayer money that was diverted into a slush fund.

At the capitol, Christopher Strickland, a Democrat, qualified to run against State Rep. James Mills, R-Chestnut Mountain.

Lumpkin County Commission Chairman Steve Gooch qualified as a Republican candidate for the seat currently held by State Rep. Amos Amerson, R-Dahlonega. Amerson has yet to qualify. The district includes most of Lumpkin, all of Dawson and a small portion of Forsyth County.

In House district 10, Rick Austin of Demorest qualified for the Republican primary. The incumbent, Rep. Ben Bridges, R-Cleveland, is not seeking re-election.

In a district that includes Banks County, State Rep. Jeanette Jamieson, D-Toccoa has qualified. One Republican challenger, Michael Harden of Toccoa is also running.

Qualifying continues through noon Friday.

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