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No one qualifies for Gillsville council seat
Hoschton councilman drops out of mayoral race
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Election 2009

By the end of the three-day qualifying period Wednesday, nobody had entered the race for the Post 2 seat on the Gillsville City Council.

Gillsville Mayor Larry Poole said incumbent councilman Tim House will not seek re-election. Poole and Post 1 Councilman Roy Turpin both qualified for re-election.

Poole said he will consult with the city’s attorney to determine what to do when no one runs for a council seat.

"Apparently it hasn’t happened in recent memory," Poole said.

The situation almost was repeated in Hoschton, where qualifying also ended Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, city councilman and former mayoral candidate Jim Jester officially dropped out of the race; he had been the only person who qualified. By the end of the day, three people stepped forward to qualify for the mayoral seat — Robbie Bettis, Jim Keinard and Erma Denney.

Current Mayor Bill Copenhaver is not running for re-election. Jester withdrew his candidacy following the council’s called meeting Tuesday, at which members discussed the city’s projected $77,000 in debt.

"We all know that trust and confidence is hard to earn and easy to lose, but after listening to the city’s most cynical and loudest critics for nearly four hours last night (Tuesday), I am convinced that someone completely new may have a greater chance of providing the leadership and restoring the confidence that the city needs," Jester wrote in an e-mail.

Qualifying in other municipalities on Wednesday included:

Incumbents in Oakwood will face no challengers in the November election, as qualifying ended Wednesday. Seeking re-election to their posts are Mayor Lamar Scroggs, Post 1 Councilman Sam Evans and Post 2 Councilman Ron McFarland.

In Flowery Branch, where qualifying began Wednesday and ends Friday, Mayor Diane Hirling was the only incumbent who qualified on the first day. Other qualifiers included Tara Richards, seeking the Post 5 seat; James Miller, Post 4 seat; and Kristopher Yardley, Post 3 seat.

Two newcomers qualified for the Gainesville Board of Education Ward 4 seat. Richard Lacey and Delores Diaz joined the race and will be running against Ward 4 incumbent Kelvin Simmons.

On the last day of qualifying in Jefferson, Brian Mitsdarffer qualified for the District 4 city council seat, while Debbie Langley qualified for the mayoral position.

In Commerce, Sammy Thomason and Keith Burchett qualified in the mayoral race and Darren Owensby qualified for the Ward II council seat.

In Hoschton, Sandie Romer qualified for the Post 1 council seat and Jim Higginbottom qualified for the Post 2 council seat.