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The races are on
Qualifying period ends, sheriff and BoE candidates set
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Qualifying for the Liberty County sheriff special election and the Liberty County Board of Education elections closed at noon Friday. Liberty County now has a list of seven candidates for sheriff and four incumbents for the BoE.

Qualifying for the sheriff’s special election and the BoE members began at 9 a.m. Monday.

Qualifying week went wonderfully, Liberty County Supervisor of Elections Ella Golden said.

The special election for sheriff is being held in accordance with Official Georgia Code Annotated 15-16-8, after the death of Sheriff J. Don Martin in May. His wife, Polly Martin is the interim sheriff.

Several sheriff hopefuls declared their candidacy before qualifying began; however, two additional candidates stepped forward during qualifying week, bringing the total number of sheriff candidates to seven. Jimmie T. Jones, of Riceboro, and City Council member Bobby Ryon, of Hinesville, officially entered the race.

Ryon, who made the decision to run one day before qualifying closed, said he’s been involved with many public service and nonprofit organizations and is focused on improving the community.

"I want to see the county grow and prosper," Ryon said. "We need a strong, vibrant sheriff’s office to look after our community and our children."

The other five candidates are Steve Sikes, Jerald Burgess, Quinton "Red" O’Neal, Warren Waye and Mark Floyd.

The BoE incumbents who qualified for additional terms are: Marcia Anderson of District 4, Harold Woods of District 5, Becky Carter of District 6 and BoE Chairwoman Lily Baker. They are all running for re-election unopposed.

"The deadline has passed [for qualifying], so those are the candidates," Golden said.

The general elections and the special election for sheriff will be Nov. 2.

The primaries for general elections for the positions of Georgia governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state as well as attorney general, school superintendent and commissioners of insurance, agriculture and labor will be on July 20.

According to Golden, the Midway advanced voting precinct will be open until July 16 for early voting in the primary elections.

"Voters can already come out and vote now. We have the Midway advanced voting precinct open for voters’ convenience," said Golden in a previous interview.

Voter registration forms are available at every city hall, the main voter election office and the library or online at The form can be placed in the mail once it’s completed.

The last day to register to vote for the Nov. 2 election is Oct. 4.

An online sample ballot will be available soon at, Golden said.

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