THOMASVILLE — Four candidates qualified on Monday for positions in Thomas County government — three for the Thomas County Commission and one for the Thomas County Board of Education.

Qualifying for eight positions on the two governing bodies began Monday and will run through Friday. Local legislators also are up for re-election this year and will qualify this week for the July 18 primary election.

County commissioner Robert Holton, representing District 7, qualified to run for re-election. Holton, a Democrat, has served on the commission for four years and is seeking his second term.

Also qualifying was Ken Hickey, who will run for the District 3 seat on the county commission. That seat is currently held by commissioner Bobby Brown, who is not seeking re-election.

“I wanted to go ahead and do it first thing,” Hickey said at 8:55 a.m., Monday at the Thomas County Courthouse.

Hickey, a Republican, hopes his early declaration of candidacy and his early qualifying reflect his determination to win the District 3 seat.

Merrill Baker, a Democrat, qualified to run for the District 1 seat on the commission. That seat is currently held by the Rev. I.L. Mullins.

Qualifying to run for the Thomas County Board of Education was Ethel Abrams, who was appointed to the board in April 2005 following the death of her husband, former board member Glenn Abrams.

She was selected by the members of the board to fulfill her late husband’s term in the District 1 seat. Three other positions on the school board will also be decided in this year’s election.

The candidate-qualifying period runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Thursday and will close at noon Friday. The primary election will be held Tuesday, July 18. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7.

To contact reporter Brewer Turley, call (229) 226-2400, ext. 226.

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