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First day of qualifying draws many candidates
5 Republican candidates qualify to run in Hall sheriffs race
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Candidate qualifying

Today: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to noon

For fees and other information, contact local election offices or the Secretary of State Elections Division at 404-656-2871 or visit the elections homepage at

Five candidates have already qualified to run as Republicans in the race to be Hall County’s next sheriff.

Though some of them have been campaigning for nearly a year now, Jeff Strickland, Jon P. Strickland, Chuck Hewett, Gerald Couch and John Sisk all paid qualifying fees Wednesday, making their intentions to seek the seat official.

Wednesday was the first day of the qualifying period for candidates wishing to be on the ballot during the July 31 party primaries.

The period ends at noon Friday.

Races for two district seats on the Hall County Board of Commissioners are already contested.

Eugene Moon, who previously ran as an independent candidate for Gov. Nathan Deal’s old seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, qualified to run as a Republican against incumbent Billy Powell, who also qualified.

Republican Jeff Stowe filed paperwork to challenge incumbent Ashley Bell, who has also made his bid for re-election — this time as a Republican — official.

Dick Mecum, former Hall County sheriff and U.S. marshal, made official his plans to challenge county Chairman Tom Oliver. Oliver has not yet qualified.

Four Republican candidates also stepped forward in the election for Hall County probate judge. The bench is currently entrusted to Patti Cornett, who is retiring.

Patty Walters Laine, Lisa Maniscalco, Brook Davidson and Susan Brown will be among the choices July 31.
Races for tax commissioner and other offices also drew several applicants.

To succeed retiring Tax Commissioner Keith Echols, Charles Lewis, Kent Henderson and Darla Eden all qualified.

All of those who qualified for local office were Republicans.

In the race to represent Georgia’s newest congressional district, retiring White County principal Roger Fitzpatrick, a Republican, was the first to qualify. Former radio host Martha Zoller, also a Republican, also qualified.

By the end of the first day of qualifying, candidates who want to represent Hall County in the Georgia General Assembly had no official opposition.

An open seat to represent parts of South Hall County and North Gwinnett did receive its first taker with Republican candidate Timothy Barr of Lawrenceville.

State Reps. Carl Rogers and Emory Dunahoo both filed paperwork with the Secretary of State to seek re-election for the next session.

Sen. Butch Miller, too, qualified for re-election to represent Senate District 49.

All are Republicans.

Others who filed paperwork Wednesday include Charles Baker, who qualified for re-election to his position as Hall County’s clerk of court; Margaret Gregory, who qualified for re-election as Hall County’s chief magistrate judge; and Craig Harrington and Nath Morris, who both qualified for re-election to the Hall County Board of Education.

Two candidates for nonpartisan elections to state court judge also filed their paperwork at the Hall County Elections office.

They are Charlie Wynne and Gene Roberts.