The field of local candidates for the November elections in Henry County has been set. However, one sitting county commissioner will not be among the qualifiers.
Qualifying is complete for the partisan primaries on July 31, as well as those making bids as independents. District III Commissioner Randy Stamey did not qualify to run for re-election.
Stamey, a real estate agent, said although the decision became official at the end of qualifying on Friday, his mind was made up early this year, not to seek another term.
“The job has been so consuming the last two years, that I don’t think I can do it for another two years,” said Stamey, a Republican, who was elected to the commission in 2004. “It’s a part-time job that has become a full-time job.”
Four other Republicans qualified on Wednesday for the District III commission seat. They are Gary W. Barham, a former public works director for the City of McDonough; Kenneth David Sherman, a semi-retired business owner; William L. “Bill” Toney, Jr., owner of Jenco, a golf cart manufacturing company, and human resources manager, Laura Elizabeth Jeffares.
Stamey said he has not determined who, if anyone, he will endorse to succeed him on the commission.
“It’s too early to tell right now,” said Stamey. “I wish them all luck.”
There was a qualification surprise, too, on Friday. A McDonough City Council member, Sandra Vincent, resigned from her seat in order to challenge for the District III county commission post, as a Democrat.
“I would be serving the same citizens that I previously served, from a different government,” said Vincent. “I feel very strongly that we are at a very pivotal point in the city and county government, in terms of the preservation of quality of life. All of McDonough’s District 2, which I represented, resides in [Henry] District III. It is important to me that you have someone who has a clear understanding of governmental processes, who is an innovative leader, that can help Henry County in maintaining its position in the Atlanta region.”
In addition to District III, several other political offices will be up for grabs in the July primary.
Among Republicans, Henry County Commission Chairman Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis will be challenged by former Hampton Mayor Tommy N. Smith and Jane Askew Rutledge, a substitute teacher.
Carlotta Harrell, a consultant, qualified Friday to run unopposed as a Democrat.
Other GOP candidates who qualified for the county commission are incumbent District I Commissioner Warren Emory Holder, and his primary challenger William J. “Bo” Moss, a businessman.
James C. Mays, an attorney who also is an instructor, is seeking the District I seat as a Democrat, said Henry Democratic Party Chairman Mike Burns.
John Brian Preston, who represents District II, has qualified as a Republican. He will be challenged by attorney Vincent Anthony Lotti in the Republican primary. Jacqueline “Jackie” Anderson-Woods, a businesswoman, qualified Wednesday, and will be running unopposed as a Democrat for the post. The winners will meet in November.
Henry County Sheriff Robert Keith McBrayer, and Coroner Donald W. Cleveland, also qualified to seek re-election on the Republican ballot, as did Tax Commissioner David M. Curry, and Superior Court Clerk Barbara A. Harrison. As of the qualifying deadline Friday, all were unopposed.
Non-partisan qualifying was also held this week, for the Henry County Board of Education.
School board candidates who qualified for District I are Pam Nutt and John H. Dewberry, Jr. For District II, the candidates are Josh R. Hinton, Reginald D. Ponder, Thomas B. Sosby and Larry R. Stanley and Taqua Thrasher. Charles Vickery, Michael “Mike” Griffin, and Nichelle Wiggins, are candidates for the District III post.
No one qualified as a candidate for Henry County surveyor, according to Elections and Registration Director, Janet Shellnutt.
“It will revert to an appointment by the Board of Commissioners,” she said.
Henry County Senior Assistant District Attorney, Jim Wright, qualified as a Republican seeking to become the county’s next district attorney. District Attorney Tommy Floyd has formally announced he is retiring this year. Darius Pattillo, a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County, qualified as a Democrat candidate for that race.
Henry Superior Court Chief Judge Arch W. McGarity qualified in a quest to retain his post, according to the Georgia Secretary of State Web site.
Other non-partisan incumbents who qualified to run for re-election are Henry Probate Judge Kelley S. Powell, State Court Judge Ernest D. Blount, and State Court Judge James T. Chafin, III.