Final qualifying tally: Smola drops out, Smith party-switches, Babb vs. Hannah

Qualifying has ended and there are several local races destined to see competition in July 31 primary. Those include the Fayette County Board of Education Post 1 and Post 2 races and the contests for sheriff, tax commissioner and magistrate judge. Also seeing competition is U.S. Rep Lynn Westmoreland.

Republican qualifiers for the Fayette County Board of Education Post 1 seat are Ga. Tech professor and Tyrone resident Barry Marchman and financial adviser and Peachtree City resident Scott Hollowell.

Post 1 12-year incumbent Janet Smola released a statement last week stating that she will not be seeking reelection.

The Post 2 school board Republican qualifiers included south Fayette resident and Mercer University professor Mary Kay Bacallao and south Fayette resident and consultant Gary Griffin. The Post 2 race will not be decided until November because Post 2 incumbent Terri Smith qualified as a Democrat.

Smith has run three times successfully for her post as a Republican, but switched parties this year for reasons she has not announced.

And for the Post 3 seat, Republican incumbent Marion Key was the only qualifier.

Qualifying for the three seats on the Fayette County Commission has been postponed until May 30 through June 1 by order of U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.

The contest for Fayette County Sheriff will feature incumbent Wayne Hannah and Barry Babb, who is currently with the Atlanta Police Dept. Babb ran unsuccessfully against Hannah in the 2008 sheriff’s race. The two dueled in a crowded field four years ago for the open post that Hannah won without a runoff.

U. S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (District 3) will face competition from Milner Realtor and former Lamar County Commission Chairman Kent Kingsley.

The race for the new District 63 seat in the state House will feature Fayetteville resident and attorney Ronnie Mabra, Riverdale resident and teacher T.J. Copeland and paralegal Linda Pritchett, also of Riverdale. Each of the District 63 candidates qualified as Democrats. The new House district includes portions of Fayetteville and  northeast Fayette and south Clayton counties and a portion of south Fulton County surrounding College Park.

Also new this year through reapportionment, a small section of the House District 71 seat will extend into Fayette County and include a small portion of northwest Peachtree City. District 71 Rep. Billy Horne (R) announced earlier this year that he is leaving politics. Qualifying for the seat are Coweta County Solicitor and Sharpsburg resident Robert Stokely and Sharpsburg resident and attorney Darryl Marmon, both Republicans.

Neither District 16 state Sen. Ronnie Chance (R), District 64 state Rep. Virgil Fludd (D), District 73 Rep. John Yates (R) nor District 72 state Rep. Matt Ramsey (R) will face opposition.

The race for Fayette County Tax Commissioner will be a race after all with both Lee Ann Bartlett and incumbent George Wingo adding their names to the list.

The race for Fayette County Magistrate Judge is also contested, with Jason Thompson squaring off against attorney Catherine Sanderson.

And incumbent Fayette County State Court Judge Carla McMillian will face Fayetteville attorney Stephen Ott.

In other races, Fayette County Probate Judge Ann Jackson, State Court Solicitor General Jamie Inagawa and Fayette County Superior Court Clerk Sheila Studdard were the only ones to qualify for those races.

Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard had no challengers for his position, nor did Coroner C.J. Mowell or Griffin Circuit Superior Court judges Tommy Hankinson, W. Fletcher Sams or “Mack” Crawford.

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