By Joel Hall
Election Day for Georgia's primary run-off elections will take place today at 58 different polling precincts throughout the county. In Clayton County, Democrats will get to choose their candidates for Secretary of State, State House District 75, and Clayton County School Board District 9.
Republicans will get to choose their candidates for Governor, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Public Service Commissioner, and District 13 U.S. Representative.
The polls in Clayton County will be open from 7 a.m., to 7 p.m. Those needing to locate their polling center, can call (770) 477-3372, or visit www.co.clayton.ga.us, and go to the "Poll Locator" section under the "Elections" tab, for more information.
As of July 1, there were 147,075 registered voters in the county, according to county election officials. Only those registered prior to June 21 will be able to participate in the primary runoff.
According to Clayton election officials, voters will have to vote for candidates on their party's ballot during the primary runoff. In November, voters will be able to pick Republican or Democratic candidates on a single, unified ballot.
* In State House District 75, Henry Shawn James, 37, a U.S. Army veteran and real estate property manager from Riverdale, faces Yasmin Neal, 25, a detective from Jonesboro.
* In the School Board District 9 race, incumbent School Board Member Charlton Bivins, 45, will face James Searcy, 52, a real estate agent from Ellenwood. Bivins serves as a lieutenant with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office and Searcy currently serves as chairman of the Housing Authority of Clayton County (HACC).
* In an interesting turn of events, the Democratic candidates for Secretary of State are both current members of the Clayton County Legislative Delegation.
State Sen. Gail Buckner (D-Jonesboro), a communications marketer, will face off against State Rep. Georganna Sinkfield (D-Atlanta), a real estate agent. The winner of the runoff will face Republican Incumbent Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the fall.
* On the local level, Republican voters in Clayton will have the opportunity to chose a Republican to take on U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), the incumbent in the 13th Congressional District. Mike Crane, 47, of Newnan, a general contractor and owner of Harvest Construction, will face Deborah Honeycutt, 62, a Fayette County resident and the medical director of Clayton State University Health Services.
* Republican candidates for state-wide offices include: Nathan Deal and Karen Handel for Governor; Sam Olens and Preston Smith for Attorney General; Ralph Hudgens and Maria Sheffield for Insurance Commissioner; and John Douglas and Tim Echols for Public Service Commissioner.
According to Clayton County Elections and Registration Director Annie Bright, the Clayton County Performing Arts Center's former MO9 (Morrow) precinct, has been relocated to Mt. Zion Primary School, during this election cycle.
Bright said that no campaigning is allowed within 150 feet of the voting precincts and that voters must present one of six required forms of photo identification, in order to cast their vote. For more information, visit www.co.clayton.ga.us.