As you may recall, Governor Nathan Deal appointed State Representative Dustin Hightower (R-HD-68) to a state superior court judgeship in the Coweta Judicial Circuit last week. Represenetative Hightower had qualified for re-election with no challengers, so the Georgia Republican Party executive committee had a meeting last night to decide to reopen qualifying for House District 68. They did (I say “they” because I was unable to attend).
That means that those who qualify later this week (official deets should be out this morning sometime) will have less than two weeks to campaign. Tim Bearden has announced his intent to run. As you may recall, Bearden represented the district previously before Governor Deal appointed him Director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in 2011. We’ll see who else qualifies for the open seat.
Also, it will be interesting to see what happens for those who have voted early where Hightower was on the ballot. I’ve put in a question to the Secretary of State’s office on whether or not those Republican voters who voted early will have the opportunity to vote in the now-open HD-68 seat.
It’s a sprint towards the finish line.
Here’s the official notice sent over by Adam Pipkin, the Executive Director for the GAGOP:
Due to the withdrawal of the incumbent in State House District 68, the Georgia Republican Party will reopen qualifying for the May 24, 2016 Republican Primary for State House District 68 on Thursday, May 12, 2016, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.. Qualifying shall take place at the Georgia Republican Party Headquarters, 3110 Maple Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30305, (404) 257-5559.
Candidates must present a picture ID at the time of qualifying. The qualifying fee is $400.00.