On Tuesday, Barrow County voters will head to the polls to cast ballots in several local and statewide races. Since early voting began on June 7, hundreds of people have cast their ballots for the July primary according to Barrow County elections supervisor Katie Ferm.

Several local races will be decided in the primary. With no independent candidates running this year and only one Democrat seeking election, two county commission seats and three school board seats will be settled in the Republican primary.

In district 4, incumbent Isaiah Berry is facing opposition from Frank Clark.

Former Barrow County sheriff Joe Robinson is running against incumbent Ben Hendrix for the district 6 commission post.

Only district 5 commissioner Billy Parks is unopposed this year.

In the school board district 1 race, Blake Foster and Jacquelin Twiss are challenging incumbent Randall Holland.

Beverly Kelley and Will Dunn will square off in the school board district 4 race while Duwayne Anderson and Dexter Sullivan take on incumbent Dan Cromer for school board district 7.

Connie Wehunt, the district 3 school board representative, is unopposed this year. School board district 9 representative Mark Still is unopposed in the Republican primary but will face Democrat Rushia Cooper in the general election.

While the school board and commission races garner the most attention, area voters are also being asked to approve a new education special purpose local option sales tax (ESPLOST) which would go into effect when the current one expires. Statewide, voters will choose a new governor and lieutenant governor. Other state races include secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, state school superintendent, commissioner of labor and two public service commission seats.

Local state representatives Terry England (R-108) and Tommy Benton (R-31) are unopposed this year and will both serve another two year term.

For the State Senate District 47 seat, which represents Barrow County, Kelley Gary, Shane Coley, Doug Bower and Frank Ginn are seeking the Republican nomination. The winner of the primary will face Democrat Tim Riley in the general election. Candidates in the contested Republican primary are profiled below in a question and answer session.

In one of the more hotly contested races, eight Republican candidates are seeking the 7th district Congressional seat being vacated by the retiring John Linder. Republican candidates include Clay Cox, Chuck Efstration, Jef Fincher, Ronnie Grist, Jody Hice, Tom Kirby, Tom Parrott and Rob Woodall. The winner will face Democrat Doug Heckman in November.

Due to the large number of candidates in several races, a runoff election appears likely and is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 10.

The general election will be held on Nov. 2, with a run-off, if necessary, set for Nov. 30.

The Nov. 2 general election will include several non-partisan judicial seats, proposed constitutional amendments, proposed statewide referenda and other questions/ issues. For more information about the upcoming election, visit the new Georgia Secretary of State web site, http://vote.ga.gov. The new site allows voters to check registration, find polling locations, check on the status of absentee ballots and view sample ballots. More information about local elections is also available on the Barrow County Elections site, www.barrowga.org/vote or by calling 770-307-3110.

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