Candidates for county commissions and school boards in Thomas and Grady counties will qualify this week.
In Grady County, a judgeship also will be decided in the May 20 primary.
Qualifying in Thomas County — for Democratic and Republican candidates — is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday in the atrium at the Thomas County Judicial Center, 325 N. Madison St.
Offices to be decided are Thomas County Commission and Thomas County Board of Education districts 1, 3, 5 and 7.
The qualifying fee for county commission candidates is $108 and $61 for those seeking a school board seat.
Candidates must be a resident of the district in which they are seeking office, must be nominated by a political party unless running as an Independent and must pay the qualifying fee.
Incumbent Thomas County commissioners whose seats are up for re-election are:
• District 1 — Merrill Baker
• District 3 — Ken Hickey
• District 5 — Hershel Ansley
• District 7 — Philip Brown
Incumbent Thomas County Board of Education members whose seats are up for re-election are:
• District 1 — Nancy Hiers
• District 3 — Charles Evans
• District 5 — David Dawson
• District 7 — Kay Streets
Several individuals have expressed an interest in running as an Independent, said Walter Mays, Thomas County elections supervisor.
“I have one who is really hot on the trail for (county commission) District 5,” Mays said.
Independent candidates must qualify this week and again June 23-27.
“They have to have a petition,” Mays explained.
After submitting a declaration to run, an Independent candidate must obtain petition signatures of 5 percent of eligible votes in the last election for the office being sought.
Those who have met requirements may qualify again in June, when petitions would be submitted.
Mays’ office will verify each name on a petition. Those who meet requirements will go on the November ballot as an Independent candidate.
As a result of a federal mandate, Georgia primary elections are now conducted in May instead of July.
In addition to two Grady County Commission and two Grady County Board of Education seats up for re-election, a Grady County State Court judge and solicitor general will be decided in 2014 elections.
Bill Bass, incumbent State Court judge, was reprimanded by the Judicial Qualifications Commission in 2013. One of the conditions of his remaining on the bench is that he cannot seek re-election.
State Court judge candidates will qualify with Denise Maddox, Grady County probate judge and superintendent of elections, for the non-partisan office.
Solicitor general candidates will declare a party affiliation. Incumbent State Court Solicitor General is Kevin Cauley.
Incumbent Grady County commissioners whose seats are up for re-election are:
• District 2 — Billy Poitevint
• District 5 — T.D. David
Grady County Board of Education incumbents whose seats are up for re-election are:
• District 2 — Drew Pyrz
• District 5 — Dave Dumas
Grady County Democratic candidates will qualify from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. until noon Friday at the Cairo Messenger, 31 First Ave. N.E.
Republican candidates will qualify during the same hours at Rockdale Transport, 750 U.S. 84.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.