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Candidates group holding jamboree Saturday

ELLENWOOD — A vague, but intriguingly named group is planning to throw a party in northeastern Clayton County this weekend.

The Committee to Elect Honest & Qualified Candidates for 2014 is one of the lead organizers for “Back to School Jamboree 2013.” The event, whose tag line is “New beginning … It’s time for a change in Clayton County,” will be held Saturday, from noon until 7 p.m., at Help Our Youth USA, 4365 Old Slate Road in Ellenwood.

Other organizers listed on the flyer include Help Our Youth USA International Inc., and “local clergymen and businesses.”

A call to a phone number listed on the advertisement went unanswered and the voicemail listed no name for the jamboree’s contact person.

An internet search for the Committee to Elect Honest & Qualified Candidates for 2014 also turned up no results, so it’s not clear who the group supports. However, the event is being held in the county commission district represented by Commissioner Sonna Singleton, who is up for re-election next year.

In addition to Singleton, the only other locally-elected officials up for re-election next year are Commissioner Michael Edmondson, who represents southeastern corner of the county, the entire nine-member Clayton County Legislative Delegation and congressmen David Scott and John Lewis (both D-Ga.).

The jamboree is expected to feature fishing, free food, games, giveaways and a watermelon contest. Attendees are also expected to be able to meet former and current elected officials, as well as new candidates planning to run in 2014.

Now that a federal judge has set May 20, 2014 as the date of its primary for federal offices, state officials are expected to push to have the primaries for state and local officials held that day as well. Traditionally, the primaries have been held in mid-to-late July.

Changing the date of state and local primaries would, of course, take an act of the Georgia General Assembly, which isn’t expected to reconvene until January. It will likely be one of the first issues legislators are asked to tackle.

A change on the state and local primary calendar could mean candidates will have to qualify as early as late February or early March. That, in turn, means candidates for those offices will likely have to begin announcing their intentions to run and raise campaign funds this fall.