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Local residents make foray into politics to work on education
Four qualify for 9th District seat in U.S. House
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Others who qualified for office Thursday were:


  • John Oxendine. R-Norcross


Secretary of state

  • Georganna Sinkfield, D-Atlanta


State schools superintendent

  • Kathy Cox, R- Peachtree City


Agriculture commissioner

  • Darwin Carter, R- Alma


Insurance commissioner

  • Gerry Purcell, R-Alpharetta


Labor commissioner

  • Melvin Everson, R-Snellville


Public service commission, District 2

  • B. Joseph “Joey” Brush, R-Grovetown,
  • Tim Echols, R-Athens

Chad Cobb made his first bid for political office on Thursday when he qualified to run for the state House of Representatives.

Cobb, 37, of Gainesville will run as a Democrat to represent District 26.

“I want to put the funding back into education,” said Cobb, who is PTO president at Jones Elementary School, which may be closed by the county to save funds. “Local school boards are having to close small historic schools to meet budgets. I think that local and state government needs to work together to collect sales tax that does not get sent back to the appropriate agency.”

Republican Brian Sloan qualified Thursday to run for the Post 2 seat on the Hall County School Board.

Sloan, 51, has represented South Hall on the county school board since January 2007.

He said he decided to run for re-election because of the many issues facing schools right now.

“Obviously we are in some unprecedented economic times right now,” he said. “We have so many wonderful initiatives and plans that I think are currently moving forward and will be moving forward in the Hall County school system. There’s some things that I’m involved in that I’d certainly like to see come to fruition.”

Four candidates qualified Thursday to run for the 9th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republican Chris Cates is making his first run for political office. Cates, 53, is a cardiologist from Blairsville.

Republican Tom Graves also qualified for the race. Graves, 40, was serving his fourth term in the state House of Representatives before resigning to focus on the U.S. congressional election. Graves is a small business owner who lives in Ranger.

 Bert Loftman, 68, of Pickens County also qualified. He is running for his second political office after running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1998. Loftman is a retired neurosurgeon who served as an Army doctor in Vietnam.

Republican Steve Tarvin, 59, of Chickamauga also qualified for the 9th District race. He left his first term on the Chickamauga City Council to run for Congress. Tarvin is a cattle farmer and the president and CEO of Crystal Springs Print Works, a textile mill.

Qualifying ends at noon today.