Georgia’s Presidential Primary is March 24, but there will be no state or local seats on the ballot.
However, there will be a number of locally contested races for the May 19 General Primary and the Nov. 3 General Election.
Former State Rep. Jonathan Wallace, a Democrat, announced Monday that he will challenge incumbent Marcus Weidower, a Republican, for House District 119.
In 2017, Wallace won a special election to fill the unexpired term of Chuck Williams, who vacated his seat to become the director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. In that election, Athens attorney and Democrat Deborah Gonzalez took Regina Quick’s vacated seat in District 117 as well.
Although Wallace and Gonzalez flipped Oconee’s two House seats in the 2017 election, the districts went back to Republican representation in the 2018 election.
House District 117 incumbent Houston Gaines is being challenged this year by educator Mokah Jasmine Johnson, a native of Jamaica who became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in the 1980s and is known locally as a community activist.
Both Gaines and Johnson live in Athens. House District 117 includes Athens-Clarke, Oconee, Barrow and Jackson counties while House District 119 is split between Oconee and Athens-Clarke with the majority of precincts in Oconee.
If no other candidates qualify in March, the outcome of the local seats for Georgia House of Representatives will be determined in the Nov. 3 General Election. Voters will also decide in November on who will fill the remainder of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term, which expires in 2023. Currently, Atlanta businesswoman Kelly Loeffler has filled that seat by gubernatorial appointment.
The seat for Georgia’s 46th Senate District, currently held by Bill Cowsert, is also up for re-election.
Gonzalez is running against Western Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Brian Patterson for the Athens-Oconee judicial circuit’s district attorney. Both are Democrats, so if no one else qualifies in March, the outcome of that race will be determined in the May 19 General Primary.
The May 19 General Primary also includes a number of local races. Retired UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson is challenging Oconee Sheriff’s Office Cpt. James Hale for the office of sheriff. Outgoing Sheriff Scott Berry has said he is retiring.
The Oconee County School Board will have three posts up for election: Post 1, currently held by Tom Odom; Post 4, currently held by Tim Burgess; and Post 5, currently held by Wayne Bagley.
The Oconee Board of Commissioners also has three posts up for election: Post 1, currently held by Mark Thomas; Post 4, currently held by Mark Saxon; and the chairman’s seat, currently held by John Daniell, who is being challenged by Carol Bennett.
Other offices that are up for election include clerk of courts, tax commissioner, coroner and probate judge.
“After 32 years of service, it is with much appreciation and gratitude that I announce my retirement, effective Dec. 31, 2020,” Anglin said in a prepared statement on Tuesday. “My position as judge for over three decades has been a blessing and an honor … Experiencing the growth and changes of our county along with the public’s trust and support has fueled my enthusiasm throughout these years.”
The following people have already announced their candidacy for probate judge:
- Jimmy Williams, communications chief for Oconee’s E-911.
- George Roberts, Oconee Courthouse security supervisor.
- Mike Hunsinger, Athens-Clarke County Police Department deputy chief.
Oconee citizens will vote on a continuation of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in the Nov. 3 General Election. The Board of Commissioners will begin discussing what projects to put on a SPLOST near the end of this first quarter, said Daniell.
An election for three Watkinsville City Council seats will coincide with the Nov. 3 General Election. Council members Dan Matthews, Christine Tucker and Marci Campbell are up for re-election.
For more on this story, see the Jan. 16 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.