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2 commission seats contested
Henderson faces opposition; Sims won't seek re-election in District 2
Newton County Administration Building
The Development Services office is in the Newton County Administration Building in downtown Covington. - photo by File Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — Both seats up for election this year on the Newton County Board of Commissioners will see contested races.

Lanier Sims’ decision not to seek a third term in District 2 created a rush of candidates to run for the position.

Qualifying for both major parties ended Friday. Both the Democratic and Republican primaries are May 22, and the general election is Nov. 6.

All four candidates in the 2nd District race are in the Democratic primary, and all four are from Covington.

Running for the District 2 seat are pesticide contractor Antonio Ross, project manager Demond Mason, salesman Earnest L. Simmons and information technology professional Steven Rhodes.

Sims has endorsed Rhodes, who resigned from the Newton County Recreation Commission this week to run for the Board of Commissioners seat.

Commissioner J.C. Henderson, a Covington Democrat who is the longest-serving member of the board, qualified to run for a new term in District 4. He’s the only Democrat to qualify and will face Spencer Arnhart, the only Republican entrant, in the general election.

Arnhart, who works in carpentry and sales, is from Covington. He qualified Friday morning.

The Board of Education will remain unchanged. All three incumbents up for re-election qualified and none drew opposition.

Vice Chairwoman Abigail M. Coggin, a Republican from Social Circle, qualified in District 5, as did board members Trey Bailey, a Covington Republican, in District 1, and Shakila Henderson-Baker, an Oxford Democrat, in District 3.

General Assembly

All five members of Newton County’s legislative delegation qualified to run for re-election.

In Senate District 17, Sen. Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, will seek a full term after he won a special election earlier this year. Opposing him will be Republican Nelva Lee in the primary, with Democrat Phyllis D. Hatcher awaiting in the general election.

Strickland, Lee and Hatcher were three of the four people in a nonpartisan Jan. 9 election to succeed former Sen. Rick Jeffares, who resigned to concentrate on his run for lieutenant governor. Strickland won with nearly 62 percent of the vote.

The Democratic primary will decide the Senate District 43 race with incumbent Tonya P. Anderson of Lithonia facing a challenge from auditor Joel Thibodeaux.

In House District 109, Rep. Dale Rutledge, R-McDonough, will face civil engineer J. Blake Prince in the GOP primary. The Democratic primary will feature retired U.S. Army Col. Denise Gaines-Edmond and former Stockbridge City Councilwoman Regina Lewis-Ward, a development consultant.

In District 113, Rep. Pam Dickerson of Conyers will face Sharon Henderson, a local pastor, in the Democratic primary.

Reps. Andy Welch, R-McDonough, and Dave Belton, R-Buckhead, qualified without opposition.


U.S. Representative, District 4

Democrats: Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (i), Juan Parks

Republicans: Joe Profit, Melanie Williams

U.S. Representative, District 10

Democrats: Tabitha A. Johnson-Green, Chalis Montgomery, Richard Dien Winfield

Republicans: Bradley Griffin, Jody Hice (i), Joe Hunt


Democrats: Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans

Republicans: L.S. “Casey” Cagle, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams

The incumbent is Republican Nathan Deal, who cannot seek another term.

Lieutenant Governor

Democrats: Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James

Republicans: Geoff Duncan, Rick Jeffares, David Shafer

The incumbent is Republican Casey Cagle, who is running for governor.

Secretary of State

Democrats: John Barrow, Rakeim “RJ” Hadley, Dee Dawkins-Haigler

Republicans: David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger

The incumbent is Republican Brian Kemp, who cannot seek another term.

Attorney General

Democrats: Charlie Bailey

Republicans: Chris Carr (i)

Commissioner of Agriculture

Democrats: Fred Swann

Republicans: Gary Black (i)

Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire

Democrats: Janice Laws, Cindy Zeldin

Republicans: Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan

The incumbent is Republican Ralph T. Hudgens.

State School Superintendent

Democrats: Sid Chapman, Sam Mosteller, Otha E. Thornton Jr.

Republicans: John Barge, Sonia Francis-Rolle, Richard Woods (i)

Commissioner of Labor

Democrats: Richard Keatley, Fred Quinn

Republicans: Mark Butler (i)

Public Service Commissioner, District 3 (Metro Atlanta)

Democrats: Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny C. White

Republicans: Chuck Eaton (i)

Public Service Commissioner, District 5 (Western)

Democrats: Dawn A. Randolph, Doug Stoner

Republicans: John Hitchins III, Tricia Pridemore (i)

State Senate, District 17

Democrats: Phyllis D. Hatcher

Republicans: Nelva Lee, Brian Strickland (i)

State Senate, District 43

Democrats: Tonya P. Anderson (i), Joel Thibodeaux

State House, District 109

Democrats: Denise Gaines-Edmond, Regina Lewis-Ward

Republicans: J. Blake Prince, Dale Rutledge (i)

State House, District 110

Republicans: Andrew J. “Andy” Welch (i)

State House, District 112

Republicans: Dave Belton (i)

State House, District 113

Democrats: Pam Dickerson (i), Sharon Henderson

Newton County Board of Commissioners, District 2

Democrats: Demond Mason, Steven Rhodes, Antonio Ross, Earnest L. Simmons

The incumbent is Democrat Lanier Sims.

Newton County Board of Commissioners, District 4

Democrats: J.C. Henderson (i)

Republicans: Spencer Arnhart

Newton County Board of Education, District 1

Republicans: Trey Bailey (i)

Newton County Board of Education, District 3

Democrats: Shakila Henderson-Baker (i)

Newton County Board of Education, District 5

Republicans: Abigail M. Coggin (i)