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5 races headed to the primaries

The May 21 general partisan and non-partisan primaries will decide three seats and decide the field in three others.

Four candidates are running for Liberty County sheriff on the Democrat ticket, including incumbent Will Bowman. Also running in the Democrat primary are Kevin Hofkin, former Hinesville City Council member Keith Jenkins and fellow former sheriff ’s deputy Gary Richardson.

The winner of the primary will face off against Republican Gary Eason in the November general election.

The county tax commissioner post will be decided in the May primary. The seat is open after the death of longtime tax commissioner Virgil Jones. Former county chief financial officer Kim Mc-Glothlin and James “Jamie” Sharp are squaring off in May’s Democrat primary. With no Republican signed up to run for the post, the seat will be decided in the primary.

District 6 commissioner Eddie Walden qualified to run for his seat, and will face opposition from McKesson Stafford in the May primary. With no Republican opponent, that seat will be decided in the primary.

County commission Chairman Donald Lovette also is seeking another term and faces opposition from Chassidy Oliveira in the Democrat primary. The winner will face off against Republican Michael Navarro in the November general election.

Two Republicans have qualified to run for the District 4 seat. Incumbent Maxie Jones will not have any opposition in the Democrat primary and will run against the winner of the primary between Timmy Blout and Kevin Remillard.

The chief magistrate post will be decided in the May Democrat primary as Midway City Council member Malcolm Williams qualified to run against Michael McGirt, who was sworn into office earlier this year.

Several other incumbents also qualified to run again and are running unopposed in both the primary and the general election. Running for re-election are Probate Judge Nancy Aspinwall, Clerk of Superior Court Linda Dixon Thompson, Coroner Reggie Pierce, and Liberty County District 5 Commissioner Gary Gilliard. All have qualified as Democrats.

Also running for re-election are school board District 1 member Lavonia “Peggy” LeCounte, school board District 2 member Marcus Scott IV and school board District 3 member Carol Guyett. School board races are non-partisan. None of three had any opposition sign up by Friday’s close of qualifying.

State Court solicitor and State Court judge also are up for election this year. Ches Merritt, qualifying as a Democrat, was the only person to qualify to run for state court solicitor. Leonard Grinstead was the lone qualifier for the state court judge position, which is non-partisan. Neither Merritt nor Grinstead faces any opposition in the primary.

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter has qualified to run for his 1st District seat again. He will face Patti Hewitt, a Richmond Hill Democrat, in November. Neither Carter nor Hewitt has a primary opponent.

State Sen. Ben Watson faces a primary challenge for his 1st District seat from Beth Majeroni. With no Democrat having qualified, the post will be determined in the May Republican primary.

State Rep. Al Williams, one of the longest-serving members of the General Assembly, will have an opponent in May’s Democrat primary from Henry Covington for his District 168 seat.

State Rep. Buddy Deloach will not have an opponent in the Republican primary for his House District 167 seat but will have a November challenge from Democrat Rebekah Moore.

Incumbent Ron Stephens faces no challenger in either the primary or the general election at this point for his House District 164 post.

Two sitting Atlantic Judicial Circuit superior court judges, Paul Rose and Robert Russell, will not face opposition in their re-election bids.

The elections and registration office is accepting absentee ballot applications for the May 21 general primary and non-partisan election through May 10.

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