Westmoreland gets challenger
by Sarah Fay Campbell
U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga. Third District, picked up a primary challenger Friday on the last day of qualifying for the May 20 primary and non-partisan elections.
Chip Flanegan of Jonesboro, who challenged Westmoreland two years ago, qualified as a Republican for Westmoreland’s Third District seat.
Westmoreland is the only local legislator facing primary opposition, but there will be two local races on the Nov. 4 general election ballots.
State Senator Mike Crane, R-Newnan, is being challenged by Democrat Cynthia Bennett.
Longtime State Representative Carl Von Epps, D-LaGrange, is not seeking reelection this year. Democrat Bob Trammell Jr. of Luthersville and Republican Gene King of Gay are vying for the open seat.
There are three contested races for seats on the Coweta County Board of Education. These non-partisan seats will be decided during the May 20 election.
First District board member Amy Dees is being challenged by Monica Terrell. Third District board member Harry Mullins is being challenged by Jan Horne, and Fourth District board member Graylin Ward is being challenged by Linda Menk. Larry Robertson, who represents District 1 at large, did not receive any opposition.
For the moment, Coweta County Commissioners Tim Lassetter and Bob Blackburn, and State Court Judge Seay Van Patton Poulakos, are unopposed.
There is still time for independent, third party, or write-in candidates to qualify for the commission seats.
In addition to the local races, there was a large turnout of candidates for several races on the state level, particularly the open seats of state school superintendent and U.S. senator.
There are 11 candidates for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss — seven Republicans and four Democrats. They include: Jack Kingston, congressman, Savannah, R; Phil Gingrey, congressman, Marietta, R; Karen Handel, consultant, Alpharetta, R; Paul Broun, congressman, Athens, R; Branko "Dr. Rad" Radulovacki, physician, Atlanta, D; Todd Robinson, educator, Columbus, D; Art Gardner, attorney, Atlanta, R; David Perdue, businessman, St. Simons Island, R; Michelle Nunn, non-profit executive, Atlanta, D; Steen Miles, retired, Decatur, D; Derrick Grayson, network engineer, Redan, R.
State School Superintendent John Barge is challenging Gov. Nathan Deal for the Republican nomination, as is Dalton Mayor David Pennington. State Sen. Jason Carter is running as a Democrat for governor.
There are 15 candidates to replace Barge: nine Republicans, including Peachtree City resident Mary Kay Bacallao, and six Democrats. The list includes: Allen Fort, local superintendent, Valdosta, R; Fitz Johnson, business owner, (no address listed), R; Kira Willis, teacher, Roswell, R; Nancy Jester, consultant, Dunwoody, R; Sharyl Dawes, PTA, Johns Creek, R; Richard Woods, educator, Tifton, R; Ashley Bell, attorney, Gainesville, R; Mary Kay Bacallao, professor, Peachtree City, R; Denise Freeman, consultant, (no residence listed) D; Mike Buck, educator, Gainesville, R; Alisha Morgan, non-profit executive, Austell, D; Jurita Mays, educator, Decatur, D; Rita Robinzine, teacher, Lithonia, D; Valarie Wilson, non-profit director, Decatur, D; Tarnisha Dent, educator, (no residence listed) D.