Two candidates have stepped forward to announce their intent to seek the open District 3 seat on the Columbia County Board of Commissioners.
The first is one that should be familiar to voters, Brett McGuire, a retired plant manager, who last ran against Ron Cross for the chairman’s seat in 2009. Cross defeated McGuire in that contest with 53 percent of the vote to McGuire’s 47 percent.
McGuire has run for office before. His first loss came in 2007 when he ran in the special election to succeed state Sen. Jim Whitehead, who had stepped down to run for Congress after Charlie Norwood’s death. He was defeated in that race by Bill Jackson.
The next year when state Rep. Barry Fleming challenged Broun in 2008, McGuire ran for Fleming’s open seat, but lost to former county commissioner Lee Anderson.
McGuire filed his “Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions” on March 13 for the District 3 seat, which was vacated by Charles Allen earlier this month.
He now has a challenger in Mack Taylor, a former assistant district attorney, who now has his own practice. Taylor, who is entering his first politcal race, filed his declaration on March 19.
County Elections Director Nancy Gay said no candidates have filed declarations to seek the county Tax Commissioner’s seat, left vacant after Kay Allen resigned on March 4. Two men, however, have said they will run. Former school board trustee, Wayne Bridges announced his intent to seek that office on March 7 and Allen’s former deputy, Dwight Johnson also has plans to run.
Gay said the Board of Elections will likely take up the special election at their regular meeting in April.
She said she hopes the board will set the qualifying dates to coincide with the open qualifying for indendent candidates, which the state has already set for June 23-27. The special election is expected to coincide with the general election on Nov. 4.
“June would be a good time for qualifying, between the two elections,” Gay said. “That gives us a chance to focus on the May 20 primary.”