Qualifying ends with more incumbents getting primary challengers | Local News

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Area voters often face only one choice in many local races when they enter the ballot box. But the May 24 primary and general election will be different.

Qualifying ended Friday with even more candidates. and it looks like voters will have more than one choice for most local offices.

Friday qualifying

  • In Murray County, incumbent Conrad Puryear qualified to seek reelection for Board of Education District 5 in the Republican Party primary. He will face Brad Tallent.
  • Jim Coles, a registered nurse from Ringgold, and Todd Noblitt, an insurance agent from Chickamauga, qualified for state House of Representatives District 2 in the Republican primary. They will face incumbent Steve Tarvin, who qualified earlier in the week. District 2 includes parts of western and southern Whitfield County.
  • Seth Synstelien, an academic professional from Acworth, qualified in the Republican Party primary for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. Incumbent Marjorie Taylor Greene from Rome qualified for that primary earlier in the week, along with several other candidates.

Earlier in the week qualifying

Whitfield County

  • Darrel Long, who is in the pest control business, qualified to challenge Barry Robbins, incumbent member of the Board of Commissioners District 1, in the Republican Party primary.
  • Shane Day, global sales director for Tiarco Chemical in Dalton, qualified in the GOP primary for Board of Commissioners District 3, challenging incumbent John Thomas. That sets up a rematch of the April 2021 special election runoff to fill the unexpired term of the late Roger Crossen for that seat. Thomas defeated Day in that runoff by 587 votes (52.98%) to 521 votes (47.02%).
  • Incumbent Jamie Johnson qualified as a Republican to seek reelection for Whitfield County Board of Education District 2.
  • Joe Barnette, a retired educator; Amber McMahan, a nurse practitioner; and Greg Williams, who is in inventory control, qualified for Board of Education District 4 in the Republican Party primary. That district is currently represented by Joseph Farmer, who is not seeking reelection.
  • Bill Worley, incumbent in the at-large seat on the Whitfield County Board of Education, qualified as a Republican to seek reelection.

School board elections are countywide. County commissioners are elected only by the people who live in the district. Voters’ election cards will tell them which district they live in. The term for both commissioners and school board members is for four years.

Murray County

  • Dewayne Powers qualified for the Republican Party primary for Board of Education District 6, which is currently represented by Heath Jones, who did not seek reelection.
  • Sparky Roberts qualified for Board of Education District 7 in the Republican Party primary. He faces incumbent Kelli Reed, also a Republican.
  • Chief Magistrate Judge Connie Reed qualified to seek reelection in a nonpartisan race. The term is for four years.

State legislature

  • State Rep. Kasey Carpenter of Dalton qualified as a Republican to seek reelection for state House District 4. Nick Voyles, a Dalton homebuilder, also qualified to seek the Republican Party nomination for that post. The district includes the city of Dalton and some precincts to the north.
  • Lee Coker, a firefighter and emergency medical technician from the Varnell area, qualified as a Republican for state House District 6, challenging incumbent Jason Ridley. The district includes all of Murray County and part of northern Whitfield County.
  • Incumbent Chuck Payne of Dalton and former Whitfield County Board of Commissioners member Doug Keener qualified for the Republican Party primary for state Senate District 54, which includes both Whitfield and Murray counties.

CongressIn addition to Greene and Synstelien, the following people qualified to seek the Republican Party nomination for the 14th Congressional District, which includes both Whitfield and Murray counties.

  • Eric Cunningham, a businessman from Acworth.
  • James Haygood, a right-of-way engineer from Rydal.
  • Charles Lutin, an Atlanta physician.
  • Jennifer Strahan, a business owner from Dallas.

And these people qualified for the Democratic Party primary for that seat:

  • Former Rome city commissioner Wendy Davis.
  • Marcus Flowers, a US Army veteran from Bremen.
  • Holly McCormack, an insurance agent from Ringgold.

The primaries determine who will be the Republican and Democratic candidates in the Nov. 8 general election. The deadline for someone seeking to run as a write-in candidate to file and publish a notice of intent is Sept. 6, and Sept. 11 is the deadline to file an affidavit.

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