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

Foley beheading is ‘growing up’ moment for social media

The beheading of American journalist James Foley – and the distribution of images showing that crime – have led to a moment of m ... Read More


Who is the real victim?

We will soon see a new phrase added to the urban dictionary – “looting tourism.” Over the last several days, Americans hav ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: RANT: Two people were killed in a single-engine plane crash near the Coweta and ... Read More


Georgia Says

The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle on stronger borders: If America's border security is so weak to be breached by thousands of unaccompanied C ... Read More


Helping the homeless

Living in a big city, one of the more uncomfortable aspects of walking down a sidewalk is seeing the homeless begging for money. Many are po ... Read More

Uncovering the whole story

– The video working its way through social media, and also posted on our website at times-herald.com, clearly shows Newnan Police Depa ... Read More