Yesterday, the Georgia Republican Party executive committee voted to reopen qualifying on the Republican ticket in State House Districts 3 and 52 after incumbent Representatives Tom Weldon and Joe Wilkinson, respectively, decided to withdraw their candidacy.
The Catoosa County Republican convention passed a resolution requesting that the state GOP to reopen qualifying for House District 3 citing OCGA § 21-2-155 as reason and the fact that only one Republican candidate remained in the race. As a member of the executive committee, I posted this on Facebook this morning giving my feeling and stance towards reopening House District 3:
The Georgia Republican Party executive committee decided to reopen qualifying on the Republican ticket in State House District 3. I voted in favor of this because I believe that voters should have a choice in selecting their representatives in a contested primary. Voters should not be limited to a single choice after the incumbent decides to withdraw after qualifying ends leaving one candidate. I also understand the fact that qualifying is open to any self-identifying Republican in the great state of Georgia. Potential candidates had an equal opportunity to qualify for the district seat but chose not to for a myriad of reasons. It may have been a different discussion had multiple candidates qualified for the race before qualifying ended, but multiple challengers didn’t qualify so it’s not. I respect the opinion of those that may disagree with my decision, and that’s okay. I believe I did what was the most equitable for the voters and our Party. I appreciate Representative Tom Weldon’s service to his constituents under the Gold Dome and wish him well in his future endeavors.
House District 52 was reopened as well, so people will be able to join the already two Republican candidates who remain on the ballot. The date hasn’t been set on when the state GOP will reopen qualifying, but it will be soon.