Qual­i­fy­ing be­gins for lo­cal, state elec­tions

County pri­mary sched­uled for July 15

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

The race for New­ton County chair­man be­came a lit­tle more in­ter­est­ing this week with a third can­di­date def­i­nitely throw­ing her hat into the ring and a fourth can­di­date ru­mored to be con­sid­er­ing it.

Susette Monk-Har­ris, a for­mer Dis­trict 3 com­mis­sioner and past chair of the New­ton County Repub­li­can Party, has qual­i­fied to run for county chair­man with the New­ton County Board of Elec­tions.

“I just feel that there’s been a lack of vi­sion and lead­er­ship and for­ward-mo­men­tum,” said Monk-Har­ris of cur­rent County Chair­man Aaron Varner. “We can and we must do bet­ter. We’ve got a dry reser­voir sit­ting un­fin­ished.”

Hu­bert White, a for­mer Dis­trict 5 com­mis­sioner and a prom­i­nent lo­cal hous­ing de­vel­oper, is ru­mored to be con­sid­er­ing run­ning as a Demo­crat for county chair­man as well.

Jerry Childers, first vice chair­man of the New­ton County Democrats, said White an­nounced his in­ten­tion to seek the Demo­cratic Party’s nom­i­na­tion for chair­man at a party meet­ing Mon­day night.

Monk-Har­ris served on the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers from 1989-1992.

She was the first Repub­li­can elected to of­fice in the county and the first wo­man to serve on the board. She has also served on the New­ton County Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Author­ity for five years.

“ I feel there’s no ef­fec­tive busi­ness strat­egy that links the busi­ness com­mu­nity and the lead­ers in a part­ner­ship,” said Monk- Har­ris, 53, who is a real es­tate bro­ker and an in­te­rior de­signer. “ We have got to at­tract com­mer­cial growth and ma­jor em­ploy­ers. We’ve got too many un­ful­filled goals. My goal is to move this county for­ward.”

Monk- Har­ris said she was ex­cited with the num­ber of peo­ple that have de­clared their in­ten­tion to run for of­fice.

“ I want peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate and be in­volved,” MonkHar­ris said. “ I am so ex­cited about how many peo­ple have come for­ward to run for of­fice this year. I just think it’s fan­tas­tic.”

White, who is ru­mored to run as a Demo­crat, in re­cent months has hosted a fundraiser for Rick God­dard, the Repub­li­can can­di­date for Ge­or­gia’s Con­gres­sional Dis­trict 8 seat. In 2006 he hosted a fundraiser for Mac Collins, who was then seek­ing the Dis­trict 8 seat.

White could not be reached for com­ment Tues­day.

Ed Hut­ter, a lo­cal de­vel­oper and busi­ness­man, who an­nounced his can­di­dacy for county chair­man in Jan­uary, of­fi­cially qual­i­fied to run as a Repub­li­can for the BOC. Varner, who has de­clared his in­ten­tion to seek re- elec­tion, also as a Repub­li­can, has not yet qual­i­fied.

Qual­i­fi­ca­tion week for the July 15 county pri­mary ends at noon this Fri­day.

In other New­ton County elec­tion news:

So far five can­di­dates have qual­i­fied to run for New­ton County Sher­iff: • New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Lt. Ezell Brown — Demo­crat • Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Chief Stacey Cot­ton — Repub­li­can • New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Lt. Gwen Hightower — Demo­crat • New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Capt. Marty Roberts — Repub­li­can • New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Lt. Bill Wat­ter­son — Repub­li­can

Two can­di­dates have qual­i­fied to run for Dis­trict 3 com­mis­sioner: • Keith Mitcham — Repub­li­can • Nancy Schulz — Demo­crat

Two can­di­dates have qual­i­fied to run for Dis­trict 5 com­mis­sioner: • Tim Flem­ing — Repub­li­can • Randy Vin­son — Demo­crat

Two can­di­dates have qual­i­fied to run for New­ton County Tax Com­mis­sioner: • In­cum­bent Bar­bara Din­gler — Repub­li­can • Doris Strick­land — Repub­li­can

Ed­die John­son has qual­i­fied as a Demo­crat to run for the New­ton County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion’s Dis­trict 2 seat. Al­mond Turner, as­sis­tant chief for CPD, has qual­i­fied to seek re- elec­tion as a Demo­crat for the BOE’s Dis­trict 4 seat.

Clerk of Su­pe­rior Court Linda Hays has qual­i­fied to seek re- elec­tion as a Repub­li­can. Pro­bate Court Judge Henry Baker has also qual­i­fied to run again as a Demo­crat.

State Sen. John Douglas ( R- So­cial Cir­cle) has qual­i­fied to run for re- elec­tion for Dis­trict 17.

State Rep. Doug Holt ( RSo­cial Cir­cle) has qual­i­fied to seek re- elec­tion for Dis­trict 112 as has State Rep. John Lunsford ( R- McDonough) for Dis­trict 110.

Ge­orge Wil­son, a for­mer can­di­date for Dis­trict 95, has qual­i­fied as a Demo­crat to seek the dis­trict’s of­fice again.

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