Most candidates for Columbia County races entered to run Monday, the first day of the qualifying period that ran until Friday, according to officials.
Incumbents who qualified as Republicans included state Sen. Bill Jackson, state Reps. Ben Harbin and Barbara Sims, Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle, Chief Magistrate Wade Padgett, Coroner Vernon Collins, Clerk of Court Cindy Mason, Probate Judge Pat Hardaway and Tax Commissioner Kay Allen.
Also qualifying as Republicans last week were former Columbia County Commissioner Lee Anderson and Brett McGuire for state House in District 117, Lee Benedict to challenge Harbin, Trey Allen for the District 2 county commission seat, and Charles Allen and Deanne Hall both qualified to run for the District 3 seat.
Columbia County Democratic Party Chairwoman Rosemary Fitzpatrick said Tuesday no one from her party qualified and she didn't expect any candidates to come forward last week. No Democrats qualified by the time qualifying closd at noon Friday.
For Columbia County Commission District 4, a non-partisan race to fill the unexpired term of Lee Anderson, former Harlem mayor Scott Dean and retired truck driver David Payne both qualified.
Qualifying ended in Harlem and Grovetown on Wednesday with three candidates coming forward for two posts.
Life-long Harlem resident Bobby Culpepper, owner of a Ford dealership in Thomson, will run unopposed in the July 15 election to fill the unexpired term of former Harlem mayor Scott Dean. Two men, Barry Davis and Theoplis Knight, qualified to run for a seat on the Grovetown City Council. They will compete to fill the unexpired term of David Daughtry, who died in February.
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