Qualifying begins at 9 a.m. Thursday for candidates seeking to fill the Columbia County Board of Commissioners seat left open with last week's resignation of Mark Devoti.
Elections Director Deborah Marshall said she has prepared an information packet for all candidates interested in running for District 4, which encompasses all of Columbia County south of Interstate 20, including Grovetown and Harlem, and much of the Appling area.
The deadline to qualify is 5 p.m. Oct. 8, and candidates must sign up at the Board of Elections office in Evans and pay a $195 fee. Candidates must have been a resident of the county for at least a year, Marshall said, and live in the district when taking office.
The nonpartisan election for the seat will be Nov. 4. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be Nov. 25. The winner will take office as soon as the election results are certified.
Last year, when a special election for the same district was held to fill the unexpired term of Barry Fleming - who resigned to run for the state Legislature - Peggy Lichtenberg was eliminated in a first-round vote with Devoti and Tony Mundy; Devoti then beat Mundy in a runoff. After a year in office, Devoti resigned last week to take a job in Virginia.
Since that election, the boundaries of District 4 changed Jan. 1 when the county switched to a system with four district-elected commissioners and a countywide elected chairman. As a result, voters in the Kiokee Baptist Church and Eubank Blanchard Community Center precincts will be able to cast ballots in next month's special election.
Other precincts voting in this race are: Harlem Middle School, Harlem Baptist Church, Bessie Thomas Community Center, Euchee Creek Elementary School, Grovetown City Hall, Grovetown United Methodist Church and the Greater Augusta Apostolic Church.
The deadline for voters to register in time to cast ballots in the special election is 5 p.m. Monday.
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