The first surprise of the qualifying period for local government seats occurred Tuesday, when former Bradwell Institute Principal Scott Carrier qualified to run for chairman of the Liberty County Board of Education.
Carrier, who spent 34 years in teaching and seven years as BI principal before retiring in 2017, is the first to qualify for the seat long held by incumbent Lily Baker, a former teacher and coach who has been chairwoman since 2006 and ran unopposed in 2014.
Baker and other candidates have until noon Friday to qualify.
In addition to the chairman’s post, other seats on the school board open this election are Districts’ 4, 5 and 6.
Marcus Scott IV, who represents District 5, was the only incumbent to qualify by Tuesday afternoon.
Challengers Carolyn Payne and Donita Strickland qualified for the District 4 and District 6 seats, respectively. Incumbents Marcia Anderson, D-4, and Dr. Yvette Keel, D-6, have not yet qualified or announced whether they will run again.
The school board races are nonpartisan. If more than two candidates qualify to run for a seat, the top two vote getters go to the general election.
Also up for election in 2018 are three seats on the county commission, Districts 1, 2 and 3. So far, only incumbents have qualified — Marion Stevens, D-1; Justin Frasier, D-2; and Connie Thrift, D-3. All are Democrats.
Primaries are May 22. The general election is Nov. 6.