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Hall Board of Commissioners qualifying opens with no official takers
Three candidates have announced intentions, including incumbents and one challenger

Qualifying began Monday for two seats on the Hall County Board of Commissioners, but officially there were no takers.

Partisan and independent candidates for the seats representing South Hall and North Hall may qualify from Monday, March 5, to Friday, March 9, according to the Hall County Elections Office. At the end of the first day of the period, no candidates had finished their paperwork for office.

However, several have declared their intentions. Incumbents Kathy Cooper, representing District 1 covering South Hall, and Scott Gibbs, representing District 3 covering rural North Hall and East Hall and portions of the center of the county, have both announced their re-election campaigns.

Cooper has served on the commission since 2015, and Gibbs has served since 2011.

Over the weekend, a challenger surfaced for Gibbs: Shelly Echols, who announced her candidacy for District 3 on Saturday.

Echols is a former teacher and owns her own business, which plans educational field trips for Georgia schools. She also works as the human resources director for her father’s charter bus company, Daniel’s Charters. She’s married to Drew Echols of Jaemor Farms.

Candidates hoping to qualify to run for the two commission seats must pay the county’s $162 qualifying fee and collect a nomination petition signed by at least 5 percent of the voters in the race’s previous election.

Republican candidates who want to appear on their party’s ballots should contact Hall County Republican Party Chairman Matt Smith at 770-540-5141. Democratic candidates should contact Kim Copeland at 770-532-6964. Independents may file at the Elections Office at 2875 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

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