When the Republican Primary is over Tuesday night, Jackson County will have selected three county commissioners, a district attorney and a sheriff.
No Democrats qualified for county races, although Nicholson resident Bobby Saxon awaits the winner of the GOP contest for the 10 District seat in the U.S. Congress featuring one-term incumbent Paul Broun and challenger Barry Fleming.
Countywide, however, it’s all Republican, so Tuesday’s winners will be unopposed in November.
Three Republicans — Tony Beatty, Hunter Bicknell and Ron Johnson — are vying to succeed Pat Bell as chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. Bell did not seek re-election.
If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face off in a runoff election Tuesday, Aug. 5.
In the District 2 race — which includes the Commerce and Maysville areas — incumbent Jody Thompson faces challenger Chas Hardy.
In the Jefferson area, incumbent Tom Crow will take on Amanda Spivey for the District 1 seat.
Long-time incumbent sheriff Stan Evans is being challenged by former Hoschton city councilman Jim Keinard, while for the Piedmont Circuit’s district attorney seat (the circuit covers Jackson, Banks and Barrow counties), incumbent Rick Bridgeman faces opposition from Donna Golden Sikes and Brad Smith.
Meanwhile, in the race for the Jackson County Board of Education Post 1 seat, incumbent Michael Cronic will face Bret Schwartz. If necessary, there will be a runoff Aug. 5.
Approximately 30,700 Jackson County residents are eligible to vote, according to Brenda Fulcher, voter registrar, and some of them have already cast ballots.
As of Monday, approximately 130 absentee ballots had been cast. Advance voting is under way at the Jackson County Administrative Building and at the Commerce Recreation Department’s Carson Street office. It will be offered from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Friday.
The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. July 15. Commerce area (Minish District) voters will have two polling places, the North Minish precinct at the recreation office on Carson Street, and the South Minish precinct at the J. Nolan Spear Jr. Public Safety Complex on South Elm Street.
Probate Judge Margaret Deadwyler, who oversees elections in Jackson County, said interest in the July 15 primaries has been light — which suggests a low voter turnout.
“We haven’t seen much interest in the absentee ballots,” she remarked. “Thirty-five percent would be a good turnout for this one.”
For the results as they come in Tuesday night, go to www.CommerceNewsTODAY.com