VALDOSTA — Qualifying begins Monday, Aug. 19, and ends Friday, Aug. 23, for candidates looking to throw their hat in the ring for the 2019 municipal elections.

Qualifying for candidacy is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday this week at the Lowndes County Board of Elections office, 2808 N. Oak St.

According to Deb Cox, the supervisor of elections, municipal seats open in Lowndes County are Valdosta mayor, city council districts 1, 3, 5 and at-large; Valdosta Board of Education districts 1, 2 and 3; Hahira City Council seats 2 and 3; Remerton mayor and two city council seats at-large; Dasher mayor and city council post 3, 4 and at-large.

Some candidates for Valdosta mayor and city council at-large have already announced their intention to run. Some candidates announced as early as last year.

Kevin Bussey, Scott James Matheson, J.D. Rice and David Sumner have all announced to The Valdosta Daily Times they intend to run for Valdosta mayor. John Gayle has said he does not plan to seek reelection to a third term.

Edgar Tooley and Jeremy Stone have announced they will run for the city council at-large seat held by Ben Norton, according to past newspaper reports.

Early voting for this election will start Oct. 14. Election Day is Nov. 5.

County-wide, on the ballot, Lowndes voters will decide whether the eighth special purpose local option sales tax will go into effect, election officials said.

Valdosta City Council is scheduled to decide Thursday, Aug. 22, whether the so-called "Brunch Bill" will be added as a referendum to the Nov. 5 ballot in the city. If council votes in favor, city residents will decide on making Sunday alcohol sales an hour and a half earlier or not.

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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