Valdosta Daily Times

March 1, 2014

Calling for candidates

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Beginning Monday, the week-long qualifying period for candidates in the November election begins. Due to the decision to hold an early primary in Georgia, all dates have moved up dramatically from previous election years.

Those who qualify to run for office this week will face off in the primary election April 21. While a lot of interest has been shown for some seats, and a handful of incumbents  have announced that they will not pursue the seat they currently hold, a number of potential incumbents have made no announcement either way, leaving potential opponents in the dark as to their intentions.

Below is a list of offices up for grabs this election season:

On the Federal side, there is one Senate seat and two House seats. Sen. Saxby Chambliss has already stated he is not seeking re-election; Rep. Jack Kingston of District 1 has stated his intention of running for the Senate seat, leaving his seat vacant; and Rep. Austin Scott has stated he will seek re-election in District 8.

At the Georgia level, there is one Senate and four House seats up for re-election. Although none have formally announced, it is assumed that all five incumbents— Sen. Tim Golden, Rep. Amy Carter, Rep. Ellis Black, Rep. Dexter Sharper, and Rep. Jason Shaw— will seek re-election.

Two judgeships are on the ballot, Superior Court Judge, held by Judge Frank Horkan, and State Court Judge, held by Judge John K. Edwards; neither has stated if they will run again, and at least one candidate has stated the intention of running for the Superior Court judgeship.

For Lowndes County, the Commission has three seats up for election. Commissioner Richard Raines of District 2 said he will not run again for the county seat, and two candidates have already announced for his seat. Commissioner Crawford Powell of District 3 has announced his candidacy and so far, he has one opponent. Commissioner DeMarcus Marshall of District 4 has not announced his intentions yet.

For Lowndes County School Board, only one so far of the three up for re-election has announced his intentions. Current Board Chairman Fred Wetherington announced he will not seek re-election, while Mike Davis of District 1 and Vice-Chairman Brian Browning have not announced yet.

Running for political office is draining and often frustrating, but the men and women who seek higher office are to be admired for their willingness to step up and serve. All too often, citizens complain about elected officials but are unwilling to do anything about it. Those who actively seek elected positions are passionate about service to their communities, and should be applauded for sticking their necks out when others won’t.