Coweta House district without a lawmaker for early part of session

When the Georgia General Assembly convenes in January for the 2013 legislative session, Coweta County will be one short of state House members. That’s because Robert Stokely, who won the House District 71 seat this year, announced this month that he would not be taking the legislative office but would instead become a Coweta Magistrate judge.
Stokely’s decision means a special election must be held to elect a new House District 71 member.
That election will be Feb. 5. In the meantime, candidate qualifying for the race will be Jan. 7-9 in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office in Atlanta. If no candidate gets a majority of the votes on Feb. 5, a runoff election will be necessary on March 5.
If a new House member is elected on Feb. 5, the person elected will be immediately sworn in and take office less than a month into the legislative session. However if a March 5 runoff is needed, the new lawmaker will miss almost two months of the 2013 session.
Other members of the Coweta legislative delegation -- including Reps. Lynn Smith, Matt Ramsey and Carl Von Epps -- can pick up some of the slack in terms of dealing with constituent matters during the session. But House District 71 will not have a vote on issues that come before the legislature until a new member is seated.
Already, at least two candidates have indicated their intentions to run in this special election. More candidates may be planning to qualify from Jan. 7-9.

We find it unfortunate the House District 71 seat will be vacant during part of this important legislative session, but that’s how our government works.



More Opinion

Same-sex marriage is here

Friday morning, as Cowetans were busy at work, taking care of tasks at home and seeking to find respite from unusually hot weather, the Eart ... Read More


Senoia business deserves more than a snowball’s chance

Senoia is known as a town where people like to have fun. Whether it’s sipping something cold with neighbors on the front porch in the ... Read More


Charleston tragedy bringing people together

The fatal shooting of nine people gathered for Bible study at a Charleston, S.C. church has shocked people in Coweta County and across the n ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: REALLY?!?: The gunman who opened fire in a Dallas police headquarters building i ... Read More


Georgia Says

A look at what other Georgia newspapers are saying: The Augusta Chronicle on how being black has been redefined: Neither racial nor gender ... Read More

New alcohol study highlights problems

A new government study is taking a fresh look at an old problem – alcohol abuse. The government survey shows problem drinking affects ... Read More