As qualifying week comes to an end, so it is that some of the more unusual candidates come out of the woodwork, having surveyed the scene and deciding they have a chance in their races. Some might have a realistic chance of winning, or at least making the race interesting. Others, like the guy who qualified as a Republican in John Lewis’s 5th congressional district, not so much.
In the Senate race for Johnny Isakson’s seat, the big news was that Democrat Jim Barksdale is in. If you’ve driven down West Paces Ferry in recent years and have seen the big anti-war sign, well, that’s him. In the House, the most notable person to qualify was Paul Broun in the 9th district against Doug Collins. Broun wasn’t the only one to toss his hat into the ring. Bernie Fontaine and Mike Scupin qualified today as well, bringing to total number of candidates for the seat to five.
Another five person race is shaping up in the third district, as Richard Mix of Newnan joins the race for the open seat currently occupied by Lynn Westmoreland. Douglas Bell is the Republican taking on John Lewis in the 5th, while in Tom Graves’s 14th district, Mickey Tuck and Allan Levine qualified. If you’re scoring at home, that means that only Buddy Carter (D1) Hank Johnson (d4), Jody Hice (D10), and David Scott (D13) have no challengers.
The three expected candidates for Public Service Commissioner have all qualified. Going up against incumbent Tim Echols are Michelle Miller and kellie Austin, who qualified today. All three have spent months attending GOP events, introducing themselves to primary voters.
Over in the Senate, P.K. Martin can breathe a sigh of relief. Tyler Hollifield qualified for the 9th district seat, which includes portions of Lilburn, Snellville, Lawrenceville, and Dacula in Gwinnett. Problem is Hollifield actually lives in Jefferson, and uses an Athens mailing address. He’s disqualified from the 9th, although Georgia GOP Executive Director Adam Pipkin says he can change what he’s running for until qualifying ends. He just can’t run in Gwinnett.
In the House, Rep. Tom Taylor in District 9 has picked up a challenger in Tom Owens, running as a Republican. You may remember Owens as the Man Amok in a story George wrote back at the old place, that somehow got George served with a restraining order for covering the race, and gaining national attention. There must be something in the water in DeKalb county.
Other qualifying news of note from today:
- Hayden Marlowe qualified in the 28th district which will be vacated by Mike Crane. He’s up against Matt Brass, the former Chief of Staff to Lynn Westmoreland.
- Josh McKoon has picked up a Democratic opponent in the 29th district. Ben Anderson of Grantville will challenge the sponsor of the RFRA bill in the Senate.
- Renee Unterman has a Republican primary opponent in her 45th District. Todd Tyson, who ran and lost in the primary for the house seat now held by Chuck Efstration, will face the long time Senator in May.
- There are now four candidates running to replace Stephen Allison. David Barton joins Joshua Littrell, Kent Woerner and Matt Gurtler.
- Rick Jasperse, the author of the campus carry bill now under consideration, will have a Democratic opponent in Brandon Crisp. We suspect Jasperse will work really hard to make sure his campus carry bill passes.
- In the 21st, Scot Turner has GOP opposition in Kevin Moore. One must wonder, though when Moore’s campaign website is mooresautocarecenter.com.
- In the 23rd, Wes Cantrell has Democratic opposition. Oscar Hajloo will run against him, although his website as listed in the Secretary of State’s qualifying list, www.”oscar”asghar.com doesn’t work either.
- District 39’s Erica Thomas will be primaried by two Democratic opponents, Sheila Edwards and Wayne Hobdy.
- Democrat Keisha Waites has a GOP challenger in the 60th district. Ralph Nobles of Forest Park will run against her.
- There’s another five way race for Ronnie Mabra’s House District 63. Jasmine Bowles joins four other Democrats already qualified for the race.
- In Gwinnett, Republican Rick Underwood takes on Democrat Pedro Marin in the 96th district, while John Marsh takes on Education Chair Brooks Coleman in the 97th.
- There will be Democratic and Republican primaries in House District 95. Incumbent Joyce Chandler faces David Crocker in May, and will face the winner of the race between Democrats Donna McLeod and Perry Green.
- House Budget Chair Terry England will face Lucretia Hughes in the GOP primary.
- Two candidates have lined up for Nikki Randall’s District 142 seat. Democrats Gerald Harvey and Miriam Paris will run.
That’s most of today’s qualifying action. To see the complete list of candidates, go here.