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Qualifying starts Mon. for vacant House seat

Qualifying starts Monday for a special election to fill the state House of Representatives District 71 seat left vacant by the resignation of Robert Stokely.

The majority of the district is in eastern Coweta County, though a small portion runs through northwest Peachtree City.

Candidates wishing to qualify must do so with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office starting Monday at 9 a.m. The qualifying period ends at noon Wednesday and the fee is $400.

The vacancy was created when the newly-elected Stokely resigned last month, prior to taking office, so he could accept a full-time appointment to the Coweta County Magistrate Court. Stokely has said that District 70 Rep. Lynn Smith of Coweta County and District 72 Rep. Matt Ramsey have agreed to help District 71 constituents until the election can be held.

The election date has been established as Tuesday, Feb. 5 and a runoff election, if needed, would be held March 5.

In either circumstance, the residents of District 71 will be without a voting representative in the House until the election is held, by which time the legislative session will be well underway.

Sharpsburg attorney Darryl Marmon, who unsuccessfully ran against Stokely last year, has said he will seek the post. North Coweta businessman David Stover, who is also the executive coordinator of the Coweta TEA Party Patriots, has also announced he will seek election to the District 71 seat.

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