LaGRANGE — Qualifying for local, state and federal elected offices closed Friday afternoon, launching the next phase of the 2016 election process.
Of the 23 people who qualified for Troup County public offices, only one was is a Democrat. That leaves a crowded Republican field in some races, notably for tax commissioner and Board of Education District 5, where three Republicans qualified in both races.
Most of the action in the 2016 election cycle will happen in the May 24 primary, when Republicans will attempt cull their fields to one candidate in each race. If no candidate gains the majority of votes, a run-off is scheduled for July 26.
Sheriff James Woodruff is the only candidate with a Democratic challenger in the Nov. 8 general election; that means the winners of one-party primary races are shoe-ins come November for their respective offices.
In Georgia, voters are not required to register as a member of any political party, meaning any registered voter can cast a ballot in either of the upcoming Democratic or Republican primaries on May 24 — but voters may only vote in one party’s primary.
It doesn’t matter if the voter cast a ballot in either party’s presidential primary on March 1, because the May 24 election is a different set of candidates. For example, if a voter cast a ballot in the Democratic presidential primary on May 1 for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, that same voter can still vote in the upcoming Republican primary May 24.
However, if the May 24 primary leads to a run-off on July 26, voters must vote in the run-off of the party in which they cast their original May 24 vote. For example, if a Troup County voter chooses a Democratic primary ballot on May 24, and a run-off occurs July 26 between Republicans candidates for Tax Commissioner, that Democratic primary voter cannot vote in the Republican run-off.
If a registered voter did not cast a ballot at all in the May 24 primary, that person may vote in the run-off election — if it happens.
To vote in the May 24 primary, citizens must be registered by April 26. Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen, a legal resident of the country, at least 17 ½ years old on the day of registration and 18 by election day, not serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude, and must not have been found mentally incompetent by a judge.
Area residents can register to vote at the Troup County Government Center, 100 Ridley Ave. in LaGrange, during weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Georgians can also register to vote online through the secretary of state’s secure website at https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov.
Early voting begins May 2 and is available until May 20. Saturday voting will be held May 14. Anyone registered to vote in Troup County may cast early ballots at the Troup County Government Center in downtown LaGrange.
Mail-in absentee ballots are available now and may be obtained from the Troup County elections office in the government center. Call the elections office as 706-883-1745 for more information.
According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website at https://gvrs.sos.state.ga.us/GAElection/CandidateDetails, the following individuals qualified to appear on the May 24 primary ballot. All information is directly from the secretary’s website.
Troup County Board of Commissioners
• Ellis P. Cadenhead of Priddy Road, LaGrange, Republican, District 2.
• William H. Lee of Lincoln Street, Hogansville, Republican, District 2.
• Lewis C. Davis Jr. of Mooty Bridge Road, Franklin, Republican, District 3.
• Tripp Foster of Independence Court, LaGrange, incumbent, Republican, District 3.
• Morris Jones of Ashling Drive, LaGrange, incumbent, Republican, District 4.
Troup County Tax Commissioner
• Bill Hunnicutt IV of Piney Woods Dr., LaGrange, Republican.
• P. Shane Frailey of West Point Road, LaGrange, Republican.
• Ronnie LeFevers of Wooding Place, LaGrange, Republican.
Troup County Sheriff
• Richie Bradley of Glass Bridge Road, LaGrange, Democrat.
• James T. Woodruff of Stewart Road, LaGrange, incumbent, Republican.
Troup County Coroner
• Jeff Cook of Woodfield Circle, LaGrange, incumbent, Republican.
Troup County State Court Judge
• Jeannette Little of Greenville Road, LaGrange, incumbent, nonpartisan.
Troup County Solicitor-General
• Nina Markette Baker of College Street, LaGrange, incumbent, Republican.
Troup County Board of Education
• Kirk Hancock of Whitesville Road, LaGrange, nonpartisan, District 2.
• Brandon Brooks of Highway 54, Hogansville, nonpartisan, District 3.
• John Asbell of Ashford Circle, LaGrange, nonpartisan, District 5.
• Kendall Butler of East Yorktown Drive, LaGrange, nonpartisan, District 5.
• Catherine Sargent Hunt of Merrill Lane, nonpartisan, District 5.
• Joe Franklin of Glass Bridge Road, LaGrange, nonpartisan, District 6.
• Rodell Poole of Plymouth Drive, LaGrange, nonpartisan, District 6.
• Dorothy Corry Jennings of Byron Hurst Street, LaGrange, nonpartisan, District 6.
Troup County Clerk of Courts
• Jackie Taylor of Sivell Road, LaGrange, incumbent, Republican.
Troup County Probate Judge
• Donald W. Boyd of Dixie Creek Drive, LaGrange, incumbent, nonpartisan.
Judge of Superior Court, Coweta Judicial Circuit
• Dennis Blackmon, incumbent, nonpartisan.
• Jack Kirby, incumbent, nonpartisan.
• Emery L. Palmer, incumbent, nonpartisan.
• Travis Sakrison, incumbent, nonpartisan.
• John Simpson, incumbent, nonpartisan.
District Attorney, Coweta Judicial Circuit
• Pete Skandalakis of LaGrange, incumbent, Republican.
• Randy Nix of LaGrange, incumbent, Republican, District 69.
• Bob Trammell Jr. of Luthersville, incumbent, Democrat, District 132.
• Gene King of Gay, Republican, District 132.
• John Pezold of Fortson, incumbent, Republican, District 133.
• Matt Brass of Newnan, Republican, District 28.
• Hayden Marlowe on Newnan, Republican, District 28.
• Josh McKoon of Columbus, incumbent, Republican, District 29.
• Ben Anderson of Grantville, Democrat, District 29.
• Tamarkcus Cook of unknown address, Democrat, District 3.
• Mike Crane of Newnan, Republican, District 3.
• Drew Ferguson of West Point, Republican, District 3.
• Jim Pace of Peachtree City, Republican, District 3.
• Arnall “Rod” Thomas, Republican, District 3.
• Chip Flanegan, Republican, District 3.
• Samuel Anders, Republican, District 3.
• Cheryl Copeland of Hiram, Democrat.
• John F. Coyne III of unknown address, Democrat.
• James Knox of unknown address, Democrat.
• Jim Barksdale of Atlanta, Democrat.
• Derrick “Tmot” Grayson of Redan, Republican.
• Johnny Isakson of Atlanta, incumbent, Republican.
• Mary Kay Bacallao of Fayetteville, Republican.
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.