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City elections qualifying on horizon
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Signs posted around town, stickers on cars and questions abounding about who is running can only mean one thing in Liberty County: It’s election season.
The cities of Allenhurst, Gum Branch, Hinesville, Riceboro and Walthourville will hold municipal elections in November, giving residents an opportunity to keep the old or bring in the new.
The cities of Midway and Flemington, where elections were held in 2005, are not having elections this year.
The Hinesville mayoral race has attracted the most attention so far with former county commissioner Sampie Smith, Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission Chairman Jim Thomas and attorney Robert Pirkle announcing their intentions to takeover from outgoing Mayor Tom Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe, in his second term as mayor, is not eligible to run for a third consecutive term.
Although an informal poll of voters shows most residents believe the Hinesville election will be the hottest race in the county, a few smaller cities are guaranteed to have fireworks of their own.
In Walthourville, for example, issues with water and infrastructure have been a source of conflict between the current administration and residents. The dispute boiled over last September when more than 500 people showed up for a town hall meeting that quickly became a shouting match between officials and residents.
While some candidates have campaign financial reports on file with their cities, the filing of official notices of candidacy to qualify for the election with the Liberty County Registrar’s Office will not begin until Aug. 27 at 8:30 a.m. The qualifying period will end Aug. 31.
In the coming months, there will be a number of other important dates for both voters and candidates, including:
Aug. 27: Earliest day for a candidate for municipal office to file a notice of candidacy to have his/her name placed on a ballot in November.
Aug. 31: Last day for a candidate for municipal office to file a notice of candidacy
Sept. 7: Last day to file and publish a notice of intention to be a write-in candidate in a municipal election
Sept. 12: Last day to file an affidavit stating that notice of intention to be a write-in candidate for an office has been published
Oct. 9: Last day a person may register and be eligible to vote in the municipal election and any runoff
Nov. 6: Election
Dec. 4: Runoff election, if needed
Look for additional election reminders and updates in future editions of the Coastal Courier.
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