Qualifying Opens for Independent Candidates

If you have ever thought about running for office as an independent, rather than as a candidate for one of the two major political parties, this is your big week. Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s elections office is waiting for you at 802 West Tower of the Sloppy Floyd building across from the Capitol. Qualifying is open until 5 PM today, continues from 8 AM – 5 PM Tuesday through Thursday, and concludes on Friday from 8-Noon.

Of course, there’s more than just completing paperwork and paying the qualifying fee. Candidates will have to submit a nominating petition with the required number of signatures by noon on July 12th.

We know of at least one candidate who intends to qualify as an independent. That would be the Rev. Kenneth Zachary, who is a Democrat qualifying for House District 151, located near Albany.

Back in March during the Democratic qualifying period, James Williams attempted to qualify for the House District 151 seat held by incumbent Republican Gerald Greene. Unfortunately for Williams, it was determined he didn’t live in the district he wanted to represent, and was therefore disqualified.

No worries, though. Zachary has the support of Williams, and apparently the House Democratic Caucus, which sent out this statement from Zachary last week:

Please sign the petition, and please make you vote count by going to the polls in November. We need a good representative for district 151 to represent all people of the community. We have seen so much injustice going on with hospitals closing down, one in my hometown of Arlington, Georgia, because of Medicaid healthcare being cut. We all know our opposition Mr. Gerald Greene does not want healthcare, Medicaid to be expanded to our community. We all need healthcare. As far as our school system, we don’t need anyone to come down from higher up to govern our schools. And being a veteran of the U.S. Army, I want to be a voice for our veterans, for young people in our judicial system. If you will give me a chance to stand in Mr. Williams’ shoes, I will really appreciate it, and I thank you.

Zachary needs roughly 1600 signatures from district residents in order to appear on the ballot. You can read the House Democratic Caucus press release here.

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augusta52
augusta52

What exactly was the “sloppy error” in regard to the Secretary of State (regarding the disqualification of the Democratic candidate in House District 151). Isn’t the county registrar’s office responsible for assigning voters to the right districts? And, um, in a district with 8 whole counties and 1 split county (Dougherty), couldn’t the Democrats have found a candidate from any of the 8 counties entirely in the district?