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Seven set to vie for District 3 commission seat
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The race for District 3 commissioner is shaping up to be one of Newton County's most crowded contests yet with five Democrats and two Republicans already qualified as of Thursday.

Since Tuesday, Democrats Jimmy Clark, Andre Cooper, Victor Etefia and Gabrial White have qualified with the Newton County Democratic Party. Democrat Nancy Shulz qualified earlier in the week.

Joining Keith Mitcham in the race for the Republican nomination for District 3 commissioner Thursday was Matthew Eason.

Jerry Childers, first vice chairman of the county's Democratic Party, said he hasn't seen a race this competitive for a Democratic nomination in 20 years.

"You know like [Presidential candidate Barack] Obama says 'you have to have change,'" Childers said, adding that with the exception of Schulz, he didn't think any candidate for the Democratic nomination for District 3 was older than 40.

So far the race for District 1 contains two candidates: Republican incumbent Mort Ewing and Democrat the Rev. Willie Smith.

A sixth candidate for Newton County sheriff qualified on Thursday - Republican Chris Cowan.

Republican incumbent Aaron Varner has qualified to seek re-election as county chairman. So far he is challenged by Republicans Ed Hutter and Susette Monk-Harris.

The race for the District 2 seat on the Board of Education became a little more competitive with Republican incumbent Rickie Corley joined by Republican Don Gresham. Democrat Eddie Johnson qualified earlier in the week.

Republican Tommy Davis qualified on Thursday in the county coroner's race.

Qualifying earlier in the week were District 5 candidates, Republican Tim Fleming and Democrat Randy Vinson as well as sheriff candidates, Democrat Ezell Brown, Democrat Gwen Hightower, Republican Stacey Cotton, Republican Bill Watterson and Republican Marty Roberts.

In the race for Tax Commissioner two candidates have qualified so far: Republican incumbent Barbara Dingler and Republican Doris Strickland.

Republican incumbent Linda Hays has qualified to seek re-election as Clerk of Superior Court. Democrat Henry Baker has qualified to seek re-election as Probate Court Judge. Democrat Almond Turner has qualified to run again for the BOE's District 4 seat.