Two announce intent to fill Seabaugh’s Senate seat

The vacancy for the District 28 Senate seat that came with Sen. Mitch Seabaugh’s transition on Oct. 3 as Georgia Deputy State Treasurer led to the announcement by Gov. Nathan Deal that a non-partisan special election to fill the seat will be held Nov. 8. The announcement quickly resulted in Coweta residents Matt Brass and Duke C. Blackburn, Jr. stating their intention to run for the seat.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp Oct. 3 announced receipt of Gov. Deal’s Writ of Election setting Nov. 8 as the date for the special election to fill the vacancy in State Senate District 28.

Qualifying for the Senate seat will run from Tuesday, Oct. 11 through Thursday, Oct. 13. Qualifying on Tuesday will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; on Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and on Thursday from 8 a.m. until noon. Candidates will qualify in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 802 West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. The qualifying fee is $400.

One of the two to announce an intention to qualify for the special election was Coweta County resident and retired state law enforcement professional Duke C. Blackburn, Jr. 

Blackburn retired from the Ga. Dept. of Corrections in 2009 after 20 years of service. He completed over 2,000 hours of specialized law enforcement training including becoming a Hostage Negotiator, a Counter Sniper and a K-9 Instructor. Blackburn was also a helicopter pilot for the state.

Blackburn says his main reason for running for Senator is to serve the citizens of Coweta County and District 28.

“I'm not a career politician. I have no agenda and am not obligated to any special interest groups. I am retired and have the time to dedicate to help citizens and tax payers in District 28,” Blackburn said. “I have over 20 years of experience knowing how the government has worked and what changes need to be made. Most of all I realize I will work for the citizens to make District 28 a better place to live and have jobs.”

Also announcing his intent to run is small business owner Matt Brass, a long time resident of Coweta County and the son of Robert and Linda Brass of Newnan. After graduating from Newnan High School Brass joined the U.S. Navy and served as a Machinist’s Mate aboard the USS Anchorage.

Brass later graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in marketing from the Terry College of Business. He also earned a degree in golf course management from The Golf Academy of the South in Orlando. Matt has worked as a golf pro and has taught professionally for several golf courses including Canongate Golf Clubs in Locust Grove, Sharpsburg and Newnan. He is currently a small business owner operating an executive airport ground transportation company.

Noting that he had assisted Seabaugh in some of his Senate duties, Brass said his pledge to District 28 residents is to keep the state budget balanced, oppose any new taxes, fight to cut burdensome government regulations and do all he can to support small businesses so they can grow and create new jobs.

The election for State Senate District 28 will occur in Coweta and Heard counties and portions of Carroll and Troup counties. The election is a non-partisan special election with no party primary. However, each candidate’s party affiliation, if any, will be listed on the ballot. A run-off election, if needed, will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Voters for the special election can request an absentee ballot from their county registrar’s office through the close of business on Friday, November 4, 2011. Absentee ballots must be returned to the county registrar’s office by the close of polls on Election Day. To download an absentee ballot request form, please visit: www.sos.ga.gov/elections.

 Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Nov. 8. Citizens must be registered to vote by Oct. 11 to participate in the Nov. 8 special election. Voter registration forms can be obtained at any county registrar’s office or from the Secretary of State’s website at sos.ga.gov/elections

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