Candidates wishing to run as independents in the upcoming election may begin qualifying on Monday, June 28 at 9 a.m.
Any candidate wishing to run as an independent should visit the Barrow County Elections Office located at 233 E. Broad Street in Winder to obtain a petition. In order to qualify, candidates must present a petition signed by a percentage of voters as determined by the position being sought.
In addition to obtaining the required signatures, independents must pay an $18 fee to qualify for a school board seat and a $180 fee to run for the board of commissioners.
Qualifying for democratic and republican candidates ended April 30. At the end of the qualifying period, 16 political hopefuls had declared their candidacy for area school board and commission races. One candidate, Larry Ballard, has since dropped his bid for reelection to the school board.
Local races to be decided in this year’s election include commission seats 4, 5 and 6 as well as school board seats 1, 3, 4, 7 and 9.
Three county commissioners are up for reelection this year. Only one, district 5 commissioner Billy Parks, remained unchallenged after qualifying for the two major parties ended.
Frank D. Clark has qualified to run against incumbent Isaiah Berry for the district 4 commission seat and former Barrow County Sheriff Joe Robinson will challenge incumbent Ben Hendrix for the district 6 commission seat. All candidates qualified as Republicans.
In the school board district 1 race, Blake Foster and Jacquelin Twiss are challenging incumbent Randall Holland.
Beverly Kelley and Will Dunn are vying for the school board district 4 seat.
Three Republicans qualified for the school board district 7 seat. Incumbent Dan Cromer will square off against challengers Duwayne Anderson and Dexter Sullivan.
School board district 9 incumbent Mark Still will not be challenged in the primary, but is facing a Democratic opponent in November. Rushia Cooper was the sole Democrat to qualify for any of the local commission or school board races.
Incumbent district 3 school board member Connie Wehunt will also be unopposed during the primary.
The primary election is set for Tuesday, July 20. If a run-off is necessary it will be held on Tuesday, August 10. The winners of the primary races will face any declared independent candidates in the November 2 general election.
Candidates wishing to qualify as independents should contact the Barrow County Elections Office at 770-307-3110. The qualifying period for independents ends on Friday, July 2 at noon.