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Posted: March 8, 2014 10:00 p.m.

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Slate of 2014 candidates set

Two BOC seats, three state rep seats contested


The slate of county, state and federal candidates seeking office in Georgia in 2014 is set after qualifying ended noon Friday, and Newton County voters may experience a few cases of déjà vu, in addition to seeing some new candidates entering the scene.

Among county and state seats, there will be three contested primaries on the Democratic side and one contested race on the Republican side. The federal seats, including the two U.S. House seats that represent Newton County and the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss, have crowded fields and interesting races.

Newton County seats

The two contested primaries locally are both on the Democratic side, for Newton County Board of Commissioners seats.

The District 2 race will be a repeat of the 2010 election, only with the roles reversed. One-term incumbent Lanier Sims will be challenged by former commissioner Earnest Simmons.

In 2010, Simmons was similarly finishing up his first term when Sims beat him in the primary election by a margin of 466 votes (55.5 percent) to 373 votes (44.5 percent).

This is the first election since the county went through redistricting in 2012, using the results from the 2010 Census. However, District 2 changed very little.

No matter who wins, he will face the same Republican candidate who ran in 2010, Ricky Corley. A former school board member, Corley ran for the county commission in 2010 but lost to Sims in the general election.

The District 4 race could be more impacted by the redistricting changes as it added some significant population, including the area south of Brown Bridge Road heading out from Covington all the way to just before Salem Road. The district also gained some areas around Cook, Sockwell and Mt. Tabor roads.

The District 4 incumbent J.C. Henderson is the county’s longest serving commissioner, having first been elected in 1996 and now seeking his sixth term.

He’ll be challenged by two female candidates in Sonya Hunte and Jacquelyn Smith.

School board incumbents District 3 member Shakila Henderson-Baker and District 5 member Abigail Coggin Morgan won’t face any opposition in the primary or general election and will each be elected to her second term in November.

And Stan Edwards will also be elected without opposition. He’ll take over the District 1 seat from Jeff Meadors, who is not running for reelection to a second term.

All county seats are four-year terms.

State seats

Three of the four state representative seats representing Newton County will face competition, with the two seats that represent the bulk of Newton County residents both having contested primaries.

The District 112 seat, which is being vacated by five-term Rep. Doug Holt, R-Social Circle, is being sought by three Republicans and one Democrat. District 112 covers much of eastern Newton County and all of Morgan County.

On the Republican side, Newton County residents Aaron Brooks and Ester Fleming Jr. and Morgan County resident Dave Belton will face off in the May 20 primary.

Whoever wins that election will face Morgan County resident B.P. "Patsy" Harris, a Democrat, in the general election.

The District 113 seat, which covers a portion of central-west Newton County, which is densely populated, and a small portion of Rockdale County, is a repeat of the Democratic runoff election from 2012.

Incumbent Pam Dickerson, D-Conyers, who was first elected in 2010, will face Newton County resident Sharon Sawyer. Dickerson defeated Sawyer in 2012 in the August runoff, gathering 56 percent of the vote compared with Sawyer’s 44 percent.

State Rep. Andy Welch, R-Locust Grove, will face a general election challenge from Democrat B. Kaye Shipley from McDonough in District 110.

State Rep. Dale Rutledge, R-Locust Grove, won’t face any opposition this year and will be elected to his second term in District 109.

Federal seats

Newton County has two U.S. House seats, District 4, held by incumbent Democrat Hank Johnson, and District 10, which is being vacated by Paul Broun, who is running for the open U.S. Senate seat.

Johnson will face former DeKalb County sheriff Thomas Brown in the Democratic primary, while the District 10 seat has a crowded field with seven Republicans and one Democrat.

The U.S. Senate seat, being vacated by Saxby Chambliss, has seven Republican candidates and four Democratic candidates.

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