Qualifying begins at 9 a.m. May 23 and ends at noon May 25. The general primary will be held on July 31 and the general election will be held on Nov. 6.
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (9th District) is seeking a second term in Congress. Graves was elected in a special election in 2010. Should he win re-election he will represent the 14th district. Congressional voting districts were redrawn following the 2010 Census. If elected, Graves would represent Catoosa, Walker, Chattooga, Dade, Whitfield Gordon, Floyd, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Polk and a portion of Pickens counties, according to sos.ga.gov.
Catoosa County voters also will elect a state representative and senator this year. Georgia’s state House of Representatives has 180 members and the Georgia Senate has 56, according to georgia.gov. State legislators are elected every two years for two-year terms, during even-numbered years.
Rep. Jay Neal, a Republican from LaFayette, represents Georgia House District 1. Neal was first elected to the state legislature in 2004. Rep. Tom Weldon Jr., a Republican from Ringgold, represents District 3. Weldon was first elected to the Georgia legislature in 2008. Rep. Tom Dickson, a Republican from Cohutta, represents District 6. Dickson was first elected to the state House in 2004.
State Sen. Jeff Mullis, a Republican from Chickamauga, was first elected to District 53 in 2000. Mullis represents all of Chattooga and Dade counties and most of Walker and Catoosa counties, according to senate.ga.gov. State Sen. Charlie Bethel, a Republican from Dalton, was first elected to District 54 in 2010. Bethel represents Murray and Whitfield counties and portions of Catoosa and Gordon counties, according to senate.ga.gov.
In Catoosa County, the candidate field for sheriff seems a crowded one. So far five candidates have announced their intent to run. These candidates include former Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force commander Larry Black, Catoosa County manager Mike Helton, Fort Oglethorpe police officer Jeff Holcomb, retired DEA agent Ben Scott and Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office major Gary Sisk. In January, Catoosa County sheriff Phil Summers announced he would not seek reelection. Summers was first elected sheriff in 1991.
District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin is running for re-election to the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which includes Catoosa, Walker, Dade and Chattooga counties. Ringgold resident and attorney Doug Woodruff announced on April 13 that he would challenge Franklin for DA.
Catoosa voters also will elect a probate court judge, clerk of superior court, chief magistrate judge, tax commissioner and coroner. The incumbents in those offices, probate court judge Gene Lowery, superior court clerk Fancy Moran, chief magistrate judge John D. Gass, tax commissioner Sandra Self and coroner Vanita Hullander, have announced they would seek reelection.
Catoosa County Board of Commissioners chair Keith Greene, along with District 1 and 3 commissioners Jeff Long and Jim Cutler, informed the Catoosa County News they intend to run again.
Catoosa County Board of Education chair Don Dycus, who serves District 3, and school board member-at-large Melvin Edwards and District 1 school board member Billy Joe McDaniel also announced they would seek reelection, confirmed the school system’s communications specialist Marisa Brower.
The Catoosa County Board of Commissioners set qualifying fees in January. Fees for the following county and Catoosa Board of Education offices are: sheriff, $2,270.25; probate court judge, superior court clerk, tax commissioner and magistrate court chief magistrate, $1,894.94; coroner, $280.01; Board of Commissioners chairman, $360, county commissioner Districts 1 and 3, $240; and school board seats for at-large, district 1 and 3, $90.
Catoosa County elections official Tonya Moore said a second Catoosa County voting site has been approved by the Department of Justice for the primary on July 31 for advanced voting. This second location will be at 3319 Lakeview Drive in Rossville, Moore said.
The voter registrar’s office is normally open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. The registrar is located in Catoosa Hall at 7658 Nashville St. in Ringgold, across from the Catoosa County Courthouse.
For more information, call 706-939-3990 or visit catoosa.com and click on county departments, county services, and elections tabs, or the Georgia Secretary of State’s website at sos.ga.gov.
Catoosa County election information
· Qualifying begins at 9 a.m. May 23 and ends at noon May 25.
· The general primary will be held on July 31.
· The general election will be held on Nov. 6.
· Advanced voting for the general primary will begin on July 9.
· If needed, a general primary run-off will be held on Aug. 21.
· For more information visit catoosa.com/depts/elections/index.html or sos.ga.gov