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Slate of candidates ready to face off for local, state, national offices
Primary set for May 22
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Almost every race for public office in Hall County is contested this year, from the local level to the federal in either the primary or general election.

The primaries

The Republican and Democratic primaries are set for May 22. Early voting begins April 30 and runs through May 18. Check whether you're registered and the location of your polling precinct.

Hall County Board of Commissioners

At the local level, both open seats on the Hall County Board of Commissioners in District 1 and District 3 are contested in the upcoming May 22 primary election.

District 1, South Hall

  • Kathy Cooper, Republican incumbent
  • George Thorndyke, Republican

District 3, North, East and Central Hall

  • Scott Gibbs, Republican incumbent
  • Shelly Echols, Republican

Cooper owns and operates a cattle and chicken farm in Chestnut Mountain in South Hall, as well as a Christmas tree farm, with her husband. She was first elected to the commission in 2014. Thorndyke heads up security for Simpson’s Trucking & Grading in Gainesville but lives in Flowery Branch.

Gibbs owns and operates Gibbs Grading and Utilities. He was first elected to the commission in 2011. Echols works as the human resources director of her father’s charter bus business, Daniel’s Charters, and is married to Jaemor Farms’ Drew Echols.

Hall County Board of Education

The Hall County Board of Education has two open seats and both are contested, but only the Post 2 seat has a primary race.

Board of Education, Post 2

  • Mark Pettit, Republican
  • Gina London Pilcher, Republican

Pettitt is a local manager for UPS, and he narrowly lost to outgoing Post 2 board member Brian Sloan, who is not running for re-election, in 2014. Pilcher owns Garments and Gifts in Flowery Branch.

Georgia House

Only one race for a seat in the Georgia General Assembly has a primary race this year, and it’s between two Democrats.

Georgia House District 30

  • Alana Watkins, Democrat
  • Patrick Anderson, Democrat

Watkins works as a consultant and Anderson is a CPA in Oakwood.

U.S. Congress

At the federal level, there’s a primary race among two Democrats for a seat in Congress.

Georgia 9th District U.S. House

  • Josh McCall, Democrat
  • Dave Cooper, Democrat

McCall works as a teacher in Gainesville and Cooper is a retired Army soldier and has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The general election

Almost every seat up for grabs this year is contested in the general election, which is set for Nov. 22.

County commission, District 1

  • Cooper or Thorndyke, Republican
  • Michael Parker, Democrat 

Michael Parker is a retired resident of Flowery Branch.

Board of Education, Post 2

  • Pettit or Pilcher, Republican
  • William Wallace, Democrat

Wallace works in security and lives in Braselton. 

Board of Education, at-large

  • Bill Thompson, Republican incumbent
  • Stephanie Lopez-Burgos, Democrat

Thompson has been on the board for more than five years and worked in the county school system as a teacher and principal for 32 years. Lopez-Burgos works in customer service and lives in Flowery Branch.

Georgia House District 29

  • Matt Dubnik, Republican incumbent
  • Maria Palacios, Democrat
  • Nancy Stead, independent

Dubnik first took office in 2017 and runs a Gainesville marketing firm with his wife, Katie Dubnik. Palacios works for the Georgia Association of Elected Officials and put in an unsuccessful bid for the Gainesville City Council in 2017. Stead is a retired physician.

Georgia House District 30

  • Watkins or Anderson, Democrat
  • Emory Dunahoo, Republican incumbent

Dunahoo first took office in late 2011 and works in the poultry industry.

Georgia 9th District U.S. House

  • McCall or Cooper, Democrat
  • Doug Collins, Republican incumbent
  • Robin Aaron Gilmer, Libertarian

Collins is an attorney and took office in 2013. Gilmer lives in Dawsonville and is an financial auditor. He put in an unsuccessful bid for a Georgia Public Service Commission seat in 2014.

The only uncontested races in the area are for Hall County’s two state Senate seats held by Sens. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, and John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa, and for one state House seat held by Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville.

The general election is set for Nov. 6.

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