This Friday is the last day for prospective local political candidates to file a Declaration of Intent (DOI) to run for political office this year. A DOI must be filed before a candidate can begin campaigning and raising campaign contributions, according to Laurie Fulton, election supervisor.
Incumbents are not required to file a DOI but all candidates — incumbents and challengers — who want to be on the May ballot must pay qualifying fees during official qualifying which runs next week.
This year marks a major election year, with a number of positions on the local, state and national level, including seats on the county commission, school board, the election of a new district attorney, a solicitor and several judgeships up for grabs.
According to Fulton, the offices up for election in 2018 are:
• District 1 County Commissioner where Democrat Henry Mitchell is the incumbent.
• District 3 County Commissioner where Republican Mike Mulcare is the incumbent. Mulcare announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election after three terms in office. At the end of this term, he will have served the citizens of Douglas County for 13 years. Mulcare was first elected for a one-year term in a special election in 2006 and has since been re-elected for three consecutive terms.
• District 4 County Commissioner where Republican Ann Jones Guider is the incumbent.
• District 2 Board of Education where Democrat D.T. Jackson is the incumbent.
• District 3 Board of Education where Democrat Tracy Rookard is the incumbent.
• District 4 Board of Education where Democrat Michelle Simmons is the incumbent.
• Chief Magistrate Judge where Republican Susan Camp is the incumbent.
• Solicitor General where Republican Matthew Krull is the incumbent.
Candidates for all of the seats listed above will qualify locally with the party the candidates chooses to affiliate with, Fulton said.
The state court judgeship held by Judge Neal Dettmering, who retired Jan. 1, was supposed to be on the ballot this year. But Gov. Nathan Deal is in the process of making an appointment to fill the seat, with District Attorney Brian Fortner and Assistant Public Defender Wesley Woolverton being recommended to the governor Tuesday by the Judicial Nominating Commission. If Deal makes an appointment as expected, an election would not be held for the state court judgeship until 2020.
Incumbent District Attorney Brian Fortner has filed a DOI to run for the state court judge seat and is one of several individuals under consideration for appointment to the state court judge seat by Deal.
Candidates for several other local positions will qualify at the State Capitol in Atlanta. For partisan races, candidates will qualify with their respective parties at the Gold Dome; candidates for nonpartisan races qualify at the Secretary of State's Office:
Those positions qualifying at the Capitol include:
• Douglas County District Attorney currently held by Republican Brian Fortner.
• All eight members of Douglas County's state delegation (State Reps. Kimberly Alexander, D-Douglasville; William Boddie, D-East Point; Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta; J. Collins, R-Villa Rica; Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville; and Sharon Beasley-Teague, D-Red Oak; and State Sens. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, and Donzella James, D-Atlanta).
• U.S. House District 13 held by incumbent Democrat David Scott.
• Douglas County Superior Court Judge held by incumbent Cynthia Adams (nonpartisan).
• Douglas County Superior Court Judge held by incumbent David Emerson (nonpartisan).
According to Fulton, the first day of qualifying for primary/nonpartisan candidates is March 5. The last day is March 9.
Douglas County residents who wish to qualify as a Democrats for the May 22 general primary in Douglas County can qualify at the Meritage Center, 3400 Chapel Hill Road, on March 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 6 from 3 to 7 p.m. and March 7 from noon to 4 p.m.
Those wishing to qualify on the Republican ballot for the May 22 general primary in Douglas County can do so at the La Quinta Inn and Suites on 1000 Linnenkohl Drive March 5-8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and March 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Qualifying fees are: District Board of Commissioners, $658.15; Chief Magistrate Judge, $2,175.02; Solicitor, $4,594.04; State Court Judge, $4,752.99 and Board of Education, $519.48.
As of Monday, a number of individuals have submitted declarations of intent at the Douglas County Election Office to run in local elections.
Running as a Republican for the District 1 County Commissioner seat is Nycole Newborn Miller; Mitchell currently holds the seat.
Seeking to fill the District 3 Commission seat is Leonard James Amundson, a Republican; Francisco Artley, a Republican; and Tareria Carthian, a Democrat.
Incumbent District 4 County Commissioner Ann Jones Guider, a Republican, had no opposing candidates as of Monday.
Two Democrats, Urshla Fouch and Ebony Star Baker, have submitted DOIs to run for the District 2 seat on the Douglas County Board of Education, currently held by Democratic incumbent D.T. Jackson.
Monique Rivarde, a Democrat, has declared her intent to run for the District 3 seat on the Douglas County Board of Education, currently held by incumbent Democrat Tracy Rookard.
Two Democrats, Rudy Harris and Christina J. Peterson, submitted their intentions to run for Douglas County Solicitor General against Republican incumbent Matthew Krull.
The 2018 general primary, non-partisan and special election date is May 22. The run-off date, if needed, will be held July 24. The deadline to register to vote on this ballot is April 24.
The general election/special election will be Nov. 6. The last day to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 9.