Clayton County residents will begin to learn today which of the people who have proclaimed intentions to run for political offices this year are truly going to walk the walk, and which were just all talk.
Qualifying begins across the state today, at 9 a.m., for federal, state and county-level offices, including 31 seats that directly impact the lives of Clayton County residents. The qualifying period will end on Friday, at noon.
The Clayton-related seats that candidates will be qualifying for include: Two U.S. Congressional seats, seven state representatives, two state senators, two Superior Court judge’s seats, three State Court judge’s seats, one Probate Court judge seat, the Chief Magistrate Court Judge seat, clerk of superior court, the district attorney, sheriff, solicitor general, tax commissioner, three county commission and five school board seats.
Qualifying for these seats will not all take place at the same location, however.
Qualifying for local offices
People interested in seeking the tax commissioner, sheriff, clerk of court, solicitor general, magistrate court judge, probate court judge, county commission and school board seats will register with their respective political parties. Both parties will do qualifying, according to the county elections office, in the ceremonial courtroom, at the Historic Clayton County Courthouse, located at 121 South McDonough Street, in Jonesboro.
Candidates for the non-partisan State Court judges seats will qualify in the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office, which is also located in the Historic Clayton County Courthouse.
Local qualifying is set to be conducted from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m., on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 9 a.m., to noon on Friday.
Qualifying fees for these offices, according to the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office, are: $4,481.69 for a State Court judge’s seat; $3,607.57 to run for county commission chairman; $3,242.77 for solicitor general and sheriff; $2,750.48 for the Probate Court judge’s seat, Chief Magistrate Court judge’s seat, tax commissioner and Clerk of Superior Court; $577.21 to run for county commissioner, and $340 to run for a school board seat.
Qualifying for state offices
People interested in seeking the U.S. Congressional seats, state representatives seats, state senators seats, and district attorney offices will do that with their respective political parties at the State Capitol building, in Atlanta.
Republican candidates are slated to qualify for those offices in the State House Chamber, on Wednesday, from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m.; on Thursday, from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., and on Friday, from 8 a.m., to noon, according to the Georgia Republican Party web site.
Democratic candidates for those seats will qualify in the State Senate Chamber on Wednesday, from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m., and on Thursday, from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., according to Georgia Democratic Party officials. The Democrats are also set to conduct qualifying for these seats in the State House Chambers on Friday, from 8 a.m., to noon.
There will be some changes this year for state senate and state representative seats this year, since the state recently redrew the boundary lines for those districts.
Qualifying for the non-partisan Superior Court seats will be conducted at the Georgia Secretary of State’s Elections Division office, located in Suite 802, West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive, in Atlanta.
Qualifying fees for these state and federal offices, according to the Secretary of State’s office, are $5,220 for a U.S. Representative’s seat; $3,607.56 for a Superior Court judge’s seat, $3,430.61 to run for district attorney, and $400 each to run for a state senate, or state representative’s seat.
Which offices are up for grabs
The offices set to be on Clayton County ballots this year include:
• U.S. Congressional Districts 5 (Incumbent: John Lewis) and 13 (Incumbent: David Scott).
• State Senate Districts 34 (Incumbent: Valencia Seay) and 44 (Incumbent: Gail Davenport).
• State Representative Districts 60 (Incumbent: Keisha S. Waites); 63 (New seat); 74 (Incumbent: Roberta Abdul-Salaam); 75 (Incumbent: Yasmin Neal); 76 (Incumbent: Sandra Scott); 77 (Incumbent: Darryl Jordan), and 78 (Incumbent: Glenn Baker).
• District Attorney (Incumbent: Tracy Graham Lawson).
• Sheriff (Incumbent: Kem Kimbrough).
• Solicitor General (Incumbent: Tasha Mosley).
• Tax Commissioner (Incumbent: Terry Baskin).
• County Commission Chairman (Incumbent: Eldrin Bell).
• County Commission Districts 2 (Incumbent: Gail Hambrick) and 3 (Incumbent: Wole Ralph).
• Board of Education Districts 2 (Incumbent: Wanda Smith); 3 (Incumbent: Jessie Goree); 5 (Incumbent: Ophelia Burroughs); 6 (Incumbent: Mary Baker) and 7 (Incumbent: Trinia Garrett).
• Clerk of Superior Court (Incumbent: Jacquline Wills).
• Chief Magistrate Court Judge (Incumbent: Daphne Walker).
• Probate Judge (Incumbent: Pamela Ferguson).
• Two Judge of Superior Court seats (Incumbents: Deborah Benefield and Matthew Simmons).
• Three Judge of State Court seats (Incumbents: Morris Braswell, Linda Cowen and Aaron Mason).