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Challengers emerge in local elections

Qualifying closed at noon Friday

Posted: May 24, 2012 - 9:40am  |  Updated: August 14, 2012 - 9:27am

Twitter @ColumbiaCounty

Several new candidates for Columbia County offices and other local races emerged by the time qualifying for the 2012 elections closed at noon Friday.

Especially crowded are the School Board races, with two challengers lining up to run in District 4 against incumbent Roxanne Whitaker, and two of three expected candidates filing to run for the vacant District 1 seat.

David Dekle and Carolyn Chase signed up on Wednesday, the first day of qualifying, to run for the District 1 School Board seat currently held by Wayne Bridges, who has said he does not intend to seek re-election. Republican Party Chairman Brian Slowinski filed to run for the non-partisan post on Thursday.

In District 4, which encompasses Grovetown, Harlem and Appling, Whitaker will face a challenge from newcomers Bobby Ray Strickland and Deborah Fisher.

Incumbent School Board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco has filed to run for re-election, and no one has filed in opposition. All of the school board posts are non-partisan.

Also Wednesday, in partisan races, County Commission District 3 incumbent Charles Allen drew a Republican primary challenge from Butch Holley, while District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen faces a Republican challenge from Lee Benedict.

Other non-partisan candidates registering at the state level Wednesday include Superior Court Chief Judges Carlisle Overstreet, who drew a challenge from Willie Saunders, while judges Carl Brown Jr., Danny Craig, Sheryl Jolly and Michael Annis filed for re-election. Republican District Attorney Ashley Wright also qualified for re-election, and will face a General Election challenge from Democrat Evita Paschall. Those judicial posts cover the Augusta Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Columbia, Richmond and Burke counties.

In legislative races, Republican District 24 state Sen. Bill Jackson filed for re-election, while District 23 state Sen. Jesse Stone is being challenged by Democrat Robert Ingham. Republican District 33 state Rep. Tom McCall, whose redrawn district now includes a small portion of the Leah area in Columbia County, will face a Democratic challenge from David Vogel. District 122 state Rep. Ben Harbin and District 123 state Rep. Barbara Sims face no opposition.

Republicans Barry Fleming and Mike Popplewell filed to run for the District 121 seat being vacated by Lee Anderson, who filed as a Republican on Wednesday for the redrawn 12th District U.S. Congressional seat.

Also filing for the 12th District post Wednesday were Republicans Rick Allen, Wright McLeod and Maria Sheffield. The winner of the July 31 Republican primary will face incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow in November.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun also filed to seek re-election in the 10th Congressional District Wednesday, and drew a Republican challenger: Stephen K. Simpson.

Qualifying ends Friday at noon.

Qualifying as of close, noon Friday:

Tax Commissioner Kay Allen;

Clerk of Court Cindy Mason;

Sheriff Clay Whittle;

Coroner Vernon Collins;

Probate Judge Alice Padgett;

Chief Magistrate candidates Jason Hasty, Christopher Hudson and Jason Troiano;

District 2 County Commission incumbent Trey Allen and challenger Lee Benedict, and District 3 County Commission incumbent Charles Allen and challenger Butch Holley;

School Board Chairman Regina Buccafusco;

District 1 School Board candidates Brian Slowinski, Carolyn Chase and David Dekle, and District 4 incumbent Roxanne Whitaker and candidates Bobby Ray Strickland and Deborah Fisher;

U.S. Congressional District 12 incumbent John Barrow and challengers Rick Allen, Maria Sheffield, Wright McLeod and Lee Anderson;

U.S. Congressional District 10 incumbent Paul Broun and challenger Stephen K. Simpson;

Republican District Attorney Ashley Wright and challenger Democrat Evita Paschall;

Superior Court Chief Judge Carlisle Overstreet and challenger Willie Saunders, and judges Sheryl Jolly, Danny Craig, Carl Brown and Mike Annis;

Republican District 23 State Sen. Jesse Stone and Democratic challenger Robert Ingham, and Republican District 24 State Sen. Bill Jackson;

Republican Georgia House District 33 State Rep. Tom McCall and Democratic challenger David Vogel; Republican District 121 candidates Barry Fleming and Mike Popplewell; and Republican District 122 State Rep. Ben Harbin and District 123 State Rep. Barbara Sims.

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Comments (2)

NrthAugustaSam

Clean House

It's time to clean house in Columbia County. It's just too bad we have to wait until another election to get rid of Mike Sleeper and Ron Cross. Getting shed of Trey Allen in District 2 will be a start if someone steps up. A road kill squirrel could do a better job. Magnolia Trace is not forgotten.

LBenedict

Let's go

Sam, I have a Facebook page, Lee Benedict for District 2 Commissioner, through which you may contact me, and I ask that you please do so. I'd like to think that I am a slightly better candidate than a road kill squirrel.

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