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Let the races begin!
Let the races begin!

Several Jackson County races are set so far in qualifying for the May 19  and Nov. 3 elections.

Party primaries will be held May 19 and the General Election will be held Nov. 3.

Two local incumbents are not running for re-election this year. Jackson County Board of Education Post 1 member Michael Cronic isn't running again, nor is incumbent State Court Solicitor Don Moore. Four people qualified for Cronic's seat while two are vying for Moore's seat.

Seven Jackson County incumbents aren't facing any opposition this year.

In a state contest, Jackson County Democratic Party Chairman Pete Fuller qualified to run against incumbent Republican State Rep. Tommy Benton. Voting on that race will be held in November's General Election.

Twelve candidates are vying for the 9th District Congressional seat being vacated by incumbent Doug Collins who is running for the U.S. Senate. Among those 12 candidates are two local resident, Michael Boggus of Commerce and Andrew Clyde of Jackson County.

Seven people qualified for the State Senate District 50 seat, which is being vacated by John Wilkinson who is running for Congress. Among those seeking to replace Wilkinson is Jefferson resident Andy Garrison and Homer resident Dan Gasaway.

9th District Congressional Seat

Michael Boggus, Republican

Paul Broun, Republican

Andrew Clyde, Republican

Matt Gurtler, Republican

Maria Strickland, Republican

Kevin Tanner, Republican

Kellie Weeks, Republlican

Ethan Underwood, Republican

John Wilkinson, Republican

Devin Pandy, Democrat

Siskin, Democrat

Dan Wilson, Democrat


State Representative District 31

Tommy Benton, Republican (incumbent)

Pete Fuller, Democrat

State Representataive District 117 (South Jackson)

Houston Gaines, Republican (incumbent)

Mokah Jasmine Johnson, Democrat

State Senate District 47

Frank Ginn, Republican (incumbent)

Dawn Johnson, Democrat

State Senate District 50

Andy Garrison, Republican

Dan Gasaway, Republican

Lee Moore, Republican

Stacy Hall, Republican

Bo Hatchett, Republican

Tricia Lynne Hise, Republican

Dee Daley, Democrat

Jackson County Board of Commissioners District 1

Jim Hix, Republican (incumbent)

Jamie Mitchem, Democrat

Jackson County Board of Commissioners District 2

Chas Hardy, Republican (incumbent)

Tommy Rainey, Republican

Brodriche D. Jackson, Democrat

Jackson County Board of Education Post 1

Ricky Sanders, Republican

Blake Rodenroth, Republican

Rob Johnson, Republican

Mark J. Kuczka, Republican


Janis Mangum, Republican (incumbent)

Johnny Wood, Republican

Tax Commissioner

Candace Taylor Heaton, Republican (incumbent)

Wesley Thomas Colley, Republican

State Court Solicitor

Gabriel Bradford, Republican

Jim R. David, Republican


Keith Whitfield, Republican, (incumbent)

Shannon Stephens, Republican

Uncontested races

Probate Judge

Sherry Moore (incumbent)

Clerk of Superior Court

Camie Thomas (incumbent)

State Court Judge

Robert Alexander (incumbent)

Magistrate Judge

Ben Green (incumbent)

Chairman, Board of Commissioners

Tom Crow (incumbent)

Jackson County Board of Education Post 4

Lynn Wheeler (incumbent)


Warren S. Wood (incumbent)

Work continues on the new Jackson County agricultural center in Jefferson. The county plans to have a grand opening this spring.

Census info coming

Local residents will soon be getting information about participating in the 2020 census.

Most residents will get a notice in the mail starting March 12. The response this year can be done online, by phone or by mail.

The county's local census committee has been working for months to make citizens aware of the impending count. The group, which had booths at local football games and a float in local Christmas parades, will now focus on using social media to remind people to fill out the census form.

Local libraries are also assisting in the census where additional information will be available.

April 1 will be the national Census Day. Data given should record where individuals live as of that date.

Large group settings, such as college campuses, nursing homes, etc. will get on-site visits by census workers during April. Those who don't respond to the census questions by May should get a visit by a census worker to follow up in an effort to make sure everyone is counted.

If you get your mail via a P.O. Box,  you're likely to get a home visit.

The online census form will close in August.

Data from the census is used to divvy up state and federal funds and to reapportion political districts at the local, state and federal levels.

The census is mandated in the U.S. Constitution to be done every 10 years.

Although there was a controversy last year over a proposed citizenship question on the census, no such question is actually on the document.

Jefferson man remains in critical condition following murder-suicide attempt

A Jefferson man remains in critical condition following a recent murder-suicide attempt that left a woman dead.

Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum said Ronald Ellis is still in the hospital in critical condition following the Feb. 27 shooting in Jefferson.

"We took out warrants and have a deputy at the hospital around the clock," Mangum said.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to 28 Preakness Trail, Jefferson, around 9:50 p.m. on Feb. 27.

The 911 caller said a man shot their mother, then shot himself.

R. Ellis and the woman, Stephanie Wade Ellis, 40, of Jefferson, were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville.

S. Ellis later died of her injuries.

The Jackson County Criminal Investigations Division and The Georgia Bureau of Investigations Crime Scene Unit were called and responded to investigate the shooting and crime scene.

Early voting underway in county

Early voting is underway in Jackson County for the March 24 Presidential Preference Primary, a tax question and to fill the position of Mayor in Hoschton.

Some 1,048 people voted through midday Tuesday in the county, according to county elections director Jennifer Logan.

Early voting will go through March 20.

Voting is being held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gorden Street Center in Jefferson.

Ballots include the Presidential Preference Primary for both parties and a tax break question for senior citizens in the county.

Hoschton is also filling the position of mayor in a contest between Hope Weeks and Shannon Sell.

The county is using the state's new voting system which creates a paper ballot that is scanned into a machine after being printed by voters.

Meeting set to plan for virus impact

Although there are no known local cases of the Coronavirus CVOID-19, plans for dealing with a possible epidemic spreading here are starting to take shape.

Jackson County EMA director Bryan Bullock has called a meeting for Thursday, March 12, to discuss planning for the virus with the various local emergency agencies. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the county's Fire Training Center in Jefferson. Over 60 people have been invited to the discussion.

Bullock said earlier this week that the county's 911 center has added travel questions to ask people who call in sick and seeking medical care. In addition, the county's ambulance service crews will also ask about recent travel of patients and will handle suspected cases of COVID-19 as they do suspected flu cases.

"In the event of a large outbreak in our county, we will follow the plans that we have in place to deal with mass amounts of patients, "Bullock said. "Our area healthcare coalition is preparing the local hospitals in the event of an outbreak."

Bullock said that in a recent call with the CDC, he was told that the initial response has been to quarantine any patient who tests positive for the virus.

Testing for the virus has been an issue across the nation with a limited number of tests and testing labs available. Currently, only certain individuals are being tested and those tests are sent to the Georgia Department of Public Health for lab work. Those results are then sent to the CDC for confirmation.