qualifying report

Three-way race develops for Rozier’s BOC seat; Pierce County Sheriff, coroner races contested

A three-way race for county commission district one developed as qualifying got underway early this week.

Retired GBI Agent Weyland Yeomans, a Republican, qualified to challenge incumbent Republican commissioner Harold Rozier Jr. Local builder Tyrone Harris qualified Tuesday morning just prior to The Times’. Harris will be running as a Democrat, the first for the party in a decade. (See related stories on Page 5.)

District one includes the Hacklebarney/Cason areas.

As widely expected, qualifying for sheriff was very busy with incumbent Ramsey Bennett signing up to run for re-election. Major Robby Boatright of the Blackshear Police Department, Retired Department of Natural Resources Ranger Gary Simmons and retired state trooper Greg Stone all qualified to challenge Bennett. All are running as Republicans.

Realtor Kirby Malone signed up to run for the district one seat on the Board of Education. He is the only announced candidate so far for the open seat. (See related story.) Current district one representative Jack Saussy announced last week he would not run for another term. Third district school board member Chip Griner qualified to seek another term. The school board is non-partisan.

Bill Cselle, former deputy coroner, county commissioner and school board member, qualified to run for coroner. Incumbent William Wilson has announced plans to seek re-election, but had not qualified at press time.

A number of incumbents qualified Monday including Clerk of Court Thomas W. Sauls, Tax Commissioner Terresa Davis, Magistrate Judge Glenda Dowling and Probate Judge Moye Howard. Sauls and Davis qualified as Republicans. The Magistrate and Probate Judge positions are non-partisan.

District three county commissioner Randy Dixon had not qualified at press time, but has previously said he is running for re-election.

District three includes the Otter Creek and St. Johns Blackshear areas.

Candidate qualifying for local offices in this year’s primary elections will continue through noon Friday, March 6.

Partisan offices up for election and their qualifying fees include sheriff ($1,616.40), clerk of court and tax commissioner ($1,392.25), county commissioners district one and three ($187.56), coroner ($329.25) and surveyor ($21).

Qualifying fees for non-partisan races including probate and magistrate judge are $1,392.25, and the fee for Board of Education posts one and three is $126.

Qualifying fees are set by the state and are based on three percent of the base salary, not including longevity, and cost of living increases.

Pierce County voters will select their representatives for several local, area, state and national offices this year.

The Democratic and Republican primaries and non-partisan election will be Tuesday, May 19. A run-off, if necessary,  will be Tuesday, July 21.

The last day to register to vote for the May 19 primary will be April 20. Early voting will begin April 27 with a Saturday early vote to be held May 9.

Nominees for the Republican and Democratic parties will then face off in the November general election.  

The general election will be Tuesday, November 3, with a run-off, if necessary, for state, local and federal offices Tuesday, January 5, 2021.