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Local candidates to begin qualifying on April 26

A five-day period for qualifying begins the week of April 26 for two positions on the Fayette County Board of Education and two positions on the Fayette County Commission.

Candidates must qualify with their respective party starting at 9 a.m. Monday, April 26. Qualifying ends at noon on Friday, April 30.

The seats up for election on the school board are the Post 4 seat held by Lee Wright and the Post 5 seat held by Bob Todd. Both are serving in their second four-year terms.

The seats up for election on the county commission are the Post 4 seat held by Chairman Jack Smith and the Post 5 seat held by Eric Maxwell. Both are finishing up their first four-year terms.

Candidates for the board of education posts are required to live in the district in which they are running for office. Candidates for the county commission posts may reside anywhere in the county because both are at-large positions.

The primary election is slated for July 20 and the general election is Nov. 2. Generally speaking, in conservative-leaning Fayette County, the Republican Primary’s local winners become the odds-on favorites to win in November.

To start raising money, candidates do not have to wait until qualifying begins, said Fayette County Board of Elections chief Tom Sawyer. They may begin fund-raising after filing a “declaration of intent” form with the elections office.

The board of education and county commission seats are voted on at-large, meaning that every resident in the county may vote in each race, regardless of the district the voter resides in.

Also up for grabs this year are offices from local state legislators to state constitutional officers including the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general.

Up for re-election this year is the state school superintendent seat currently held by Peachtree City resident Kathy Cox.

Except for attorney general, all the above are held by Republicans.

Local voters will choose legislators in House districts 66 — currently held by Virgil Fludd (D-Tyrone); 72 — currently held by Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City); 73 — currently held by John Yates (R-Griffin); 74 — currently held by Roberta Abdul-Salaam (D-Riverdale) and 77 — held by Darryl Jordan (D-Riverdale); along with Senate District 16 — currently held by Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone) and District 34 — currently held by Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale).

Also up for re-election this year at the federal level is U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland’s third district seat.

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