Candidacy qualifying for municipal posts within Lowndes County opens Monday and runs through the week, according to the Lowndes County Board of Elections.
Qualifying is the official process to become a candidate for elected office. Both newcomers seeking a first elected term and incumbents seeking reelection must officially qualify to run through the elections board.
Qualifying ensures a candidate lives in the proper district for the office of interest and meets other requirements for candidacy.
Slated for this year’s Nov. 5 elections in Lowndes County are:
City of Valdosta
City Council District 2 (incumbent Deidra White)
City Council District 4 (incumbent Alvin Payton)
City Council District 6 (incumbent Robert Yost)
Cost to qualify for one of these posts: $465
City of Valdosta School Board
District 1 (incumbent Annie Fisher)
District 2 (incumbent Vanessa Flucas)
District 3 (incumbent Warren Lee)
Cost to qualify for one of these posts: $35
City of Hahira
Mayor (incumbent Wayne Bullard)
City Council District 1 (incumbent Terry Benjamin)
City Council District 4 (incumbent Rose Adams)
Special election item to fill a vacancy in City Council District 2
Cost to qualify for mayor: $108; City Council: $63
City of Dasher
Mayor (incumbent G.R. Holton)
City Council Post 1 (incumbent Julian Copeland Jr.)
City Council Post 2 (incumbent Donald J. Bryan)
Cost to qualify for mayor: $72; City Council: $54
City of Lake Park
Mayor (incumbent Eric Schindler)
City Council, four, each at large (incumbent council members Lane, Moss, Sherrill, Whitfield)
Cost to qualify as mayor: $108; City Council: $54
City of Remerton
City Council, three each (incumbent council members Brantley, DeCesare, Tatum)
Cost to qualify: $150
While incumbents are listed above, it does not mean they are seeking reelection, though the only
incumbent to publicly announce through The Times a desire not to seek reelection has been Valdosta District 1 school board member Annie Fisher.
In preparing for this week’s qualifying, Deb Cox, Lowndes County Board of Elections supervisor, said her office has received several calls from people interested in qualifying for office. One regular question from council incumbents has been would they have to leave their council seats to run for mayor. The answer depends on the respective municipality’s rules.
For example, a city council person whose term ends at the end of this year could stay in office while running for mayor but could not also seek reelection to another term simultaneously as a city council member; however, a sitting city council member whose seat is not up this year for reelection would have to resign immediately to run for mayor, unless a respective city’s ordinances specifically resolve such matters in a different way, Cox said.
Qualifying starts at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26, and runs through regular business hours until 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at the Lowndes County Board of Elections, 2808 N. Oak St. More information: Call (229) 671-2850; or fax (229) 333-5199; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, citizens may register to vote up to 30 days prior to the Nov. 5 election. Early voting starts Oct. 14.
In addition to the already listed municipal elections, Remerton will have a referendum on changing SPLOST VI fund allotment; countywide, voters will have a say in the SPLOST VII referendum.