Coweta political qualifying May 23-25

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL Many local Coweta County offices, as well as state and federal offices, are up for reelection in 2012. Qualifying will be May 23-25.
The Coweta County Commission seats up for election this year are District 1 currently held by Paul Poole, District 4 held by current Chairman Rodney Brooks, and District 5 held by Al Smith. The three school board seats are District 2 at-large held by Frank Farmer, District 2 held by Sue Brown, and District 5 held by Winston Dowdell. All the county's constitutional officers are up for election this year: sheriff, currently held by Mike Yeager; magistrate judge (Jim Stripling); probate judge (Mary Cranford); clerk of superior court (Cindy Brown); tax commissioner (Tommy Ferrell); solicitor general (Robert Stokely); coroner (Ray Yeager); and surveyor (John Christopher). Also up this year are State Court Chief Judge John Herbert Cranford, and superior court judgeships, including the ones currently held by William "Billy" Lee and Allen Keeble. Keeble has announced his retirement, and two men have already announced their intentions to run for his seat: Emory Palmer and Kevin McMurry. Georgia's state legislators, and congressional representatives, serve two-year terms and therefore stand for election every even-numbered year. The district 71 state house race will be for an open seat; Rep. Billy Horne, R-Sharpsburg, has announced that he will not be seeking reelection. Coweta will have four House districts thanks to redistricting. The other three seats are currently held by Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, and Carl Von Epps, D-LaGrange. State Sen. Mike Crane, R-Newnan, who won a special election in 2011 to replace Mitch Seabaugh, will have to stand for election again, as he was only elected to fill the one year remaining on Seabaugh's term. Third District Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, who lives in the Grantville area, already has one primary opponent. Retired Lt. Col. Kent Kingsley is a former college and high school teacher and former chairman of the Lamar County Commission. For more information on qualifying, contact the Coweta County Board of Elections at 678-854-0015.

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