Tim Bearden to Run for HD 68, Replacing Hightower

On Thursday, Governor Deal announced two appointments, including naming State Rep. Dusty Hightower as a Superior Court judge in the Coweta Circuit. Today, Tim Bearden, who held the seat prior to Hightower, announced he will try to replace him at the Gold Dome.

Bearden represented the 68th district from 2005-2011, when he was appointed by Governor Deal to the position of Director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. After several years, he left that position. Georgia code states that a special election may be, but doesn’t have to be, called by the governor because the legislature is not expected to meet again for the remainder of Hightower’s term. It’s too late to place Bearden or any other possible candidate’s name on the ballot for the May 24th primary election.

My guess is that there will be special primary elections called to determine who will appear on the November ballot, but I’m not an election lawyer. If anyone knows better, tell us in the comments.

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Charlie
Charlie

I’m not sure a special is required in this instance. If a candidate withdraws and is the only candidate the party can replace him/her, no? Isn’t that what happened two years ago when Josh Clark took another job and the State Executive Committee replaced him with David Clark?

Will Durant
Will Durant

It was more complicated than that. There was no special election as Josh Clark just chose not to run because of a job change. Michael Brown handedly won the regularly scheduled primary and was to run unopposed in the general but died suddenly before the general. The Executive Committee then replaced him on the ballot with David Clark.

JoshMcKoon
JoshMcKoon

It all depends on when Hightower assumes office. If it is prior to the May 24 primary it will result in a special election for the GOP nomination. If it is after May 24 the State GOP Executive Committee will substitute nominate for the House seat.