Seven men qualified this week to compete for open seats in the Nov. 4 special election to fill the positions of Columbia County Tax Commissioner and District 3 County Commissioner.
Although a half-dozen potential candidates had flirted with running for the unexpired term of former Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, who resigned in March, only three piad the qualifying fee and filed paperwork to run this week at the Board of Elections office: Wayne Bridges, Tom Schneider and Les Walden.
Bridges is known for having served on the school board for 12 years and has been a certified public accountant since 1982.
Tom Schneider, who retired as CEO of Gold Cross EMS a couple of years ago, also qualified. Schneider has served on the Board of Tax Assessors since 1989, where he is the chairman.
Walden is a retail business owner and director of finance for Augusta Christian Schools, where his wife is a first-grade teacher. In his announcment, Walden said he wanted to “bring finance and budgeting experience, excellent leadership skills and progressive ideas to the office of Tax Commissioner.”
Four qualified to run for the unexpired term of District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen, who resigned with his wife in March. Three had announced their intentions before qualifying: Zollie “Trip” Derryberry, Brett McGuire and Mack Taylor.
Derryberry is the co-owner of Reliable Equipment Rental, McGuire is a retired plant manager and Taylor is a former district attorney, who now has his on law practice.The fourth candidate to qualify is Floyd B. Everett, who serves as the chairman of the Columbia County Democratic Party. Everett made his intentions known to fellow Democrats about a week before qualifying. According to his announcment, posted on the party Web site, Everett said he intends to serve out his term as chairman.
A candidate forum sponsored by the Columbia County News-Times and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is set for 0ct. 16 at the Evans Library’s performing arts auditorium.