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Gainesville House seats now contested races

Races are getting started for the three open state legislative seats in Hall County for 2018.

All four incumbents, Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, Sen. John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa, Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gillsville, and Rep. Matt Dubnik, R-Gainesville, have filed to run for re-election this year.

Miller and Wilkinson are still running unopposed as of Thursday, March 8, but both Dunahoo of District 30 and Dubnik of District 29 have attracted Democratic challengers. Dubnik has also attracted an independent challenger.

In District 30, Democrats Patrick Anderson and Alana Watkins have signed up to run in their primary. Anderson works as a CPA in Oakwood and Watkins listed her occupation a consultant. In the past she has taught language arts for the Hall County adult learning center.

Dunahoo works in the poultry industry and began his first term in 2011.

In Gainesville, Democrat Maria Palacios has qualified to run against Dubnik. Palacios most recently put in an unsuccessful bid against George Wangemann for the Gainesville City Council Ward 4 seat. She works for the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. Independent Nancy Stead also qualified to run against Dubnik.

Dubnik owns and operates a marketing company in Gainesville with his wife, Katie Dubnik. He began his first term in January 2017.

Georgia primaries are set for May 22, and the general election will take place Nov. 6.

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