Qualifying fees set for Fayette elections; BoE uncertain

There is a lot more than a presidential election going on this year in Fayette County. Qualifying fees have been set for three seats on the Fayette County Commission and three seats on the Fayette County Board of Education along with fees for sheriff, tax commissioner, coroner and a host of local judicial races.

The Fayette County Commission has three seats up for election this year. Those include the seats held by Post 1 Commissioner Robert Horgan, Post 2 Commissioner Herb Frady and Post 3 Commissioner Lee Hearn. The qualifying fee for commission candidates is $700.57.

The Fayette County Board of Education will also have three seats up for election this year. Those include the Post 1 seat held by Janet Smola, the Post 2 seat held by Terri Smith and the Post 3 seat held by Marion Key. Qualifying for the school board candidates carries a fee of $180.

A fourth seat, Post 5, now held by appointee Leonard Presberg, also is tentatively set for a special election in November, based on a lawsuit settlement last month.

Exactly how the races for county commission and school board will play out depends on the outcome of the federal lawsuit brought by the Fayette County Branch of the NAACP. The Fayette BoE in January agreed to a consent decree that would bring district voting to the school board races once it is signed by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.

Once the judge signs the consent decree, Presberg’s seat will be in play for the voters in District 5. Qualifying dates and other details haven’t been decided pending the judge’s decision.

Meantime, Fayette County has yet to announce whether it will fight the suit that would also lead to district voting or settle the matter out of court. The current voting methodology for county commission races is one where Fayette is broken into three districts with two at-large commissioners. But when it comes to voting, all commission seats are decided on an at-large basis.

Other qualifying fees include:

• Clerk of Superior Court - $2,173.02

• Coroner - $441

• Magistrate Judge, all posts - $505.06

• Probate Judge - $2,173.02

• Sheriff - $2,424.59

• Solicitor - $2,603.14

• State Court Judge - $4,219

• Tax Commissioner - $2,173.02

The qualifying period will be held May 23-25 followed by the political party primary elections on July 31 and the general election in November.

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