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Local businesswoman to run against Hamrick for Gainesville council seat
Harkrider filed papers on last day of qualifying
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As qualifying wrapped up in Gainesville and some other area cities on Wednesday, local businesswoman Debra Harkrider filed papers stating her official intention to run for the Gainesville City Council.

Harkrider will challenge longtime Councilman Bob Hamrick in a November election to represent Ward 2 on the council.

Incumbents on the Gainesville City Council and the Gainesville Board of Education who represents wards 2, 3 and 5 are up for re-election this year. All qualified this week.

Hamrick, who qualified Monday, is the only one who will face opposition, however.

Elsewhere, qualifying also ended for the cities of Oakwood, Lula and Gillsville.

Todd Wilson and Rogers Puckett have qualified for Post 3 in Oakwood, held by incumbent Gary Anderson, who has decided not to seek re-election.

Oakwood hasn't had a contested council race in years, City Manager Stan Brown said.

The council is filled with longtime members, with Anderson in his 14th year. The mayor, Lamar Scroggs, has served in that role for nearly four decades.

In Lula, Veneda Simonelli qualified to run against incumbent Larry Shuler for the Post 1 seat. Norman Harrop and incumbent Lamb Griffin qualified for posts 4 and 5, respectively.

In Gillsville, Jeffrey Dale qualified to run for Post 3, Herbert Segars qualified for Post 4 and no one qualified for Post 5 by the time qualifying ended Wednesday.

Qualifying continues through Friday in Clermont and Flowery Branch.

No one has yet qualified for Flowery Branch City Council.

Flowery Branch incumbents Amanda Swafford, Post 1, and Chris Fetterman, Post 2, have said they plan to run again.

Candidates can turn in their paperwork at City Hall, 5517 Main St. The fee is $144.

In Clermont, candidates can file paperwork for $21.60 at Town Hall, 122 Dean St. Up for election are at-large seats currently held by John Brady, Albert Reeves and Seth Weaver.

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