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Voter registration deadline is near
Cutoff is Tuesday for May 22 primary elections

COVINGTON, Ga. — Georgia’s political campaign season is just heating up, but the time to get registered to vote is winding down in the state.

Tuesday is the deadline for Georgians to register to vote in the May 22 primaries.

Voters will have quite a bit to choose from next month as all of the state’s constitutional offices are on the ballot, including an open race for governor. All seats in the General Assembly and Congress are on the ballot as well.

Voter registration may be done online through the secretary of state’s office at Or, a prospective voter may fill out a form at the Board of Registrars office in the Newton County Administration Building, 1113 Usher St. NW, Suite 103, Covington.

People may call the Board of Registrars at 770-784-2055 to request an application be mailed as well.

The race for governor has drawn most of the attention this spring as two Democrats and seven Republicans fight to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal, who is term-limited.

The field includes former state Reps. Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans on the Democratic side. The GOP ballot features Lt. Gov. L.S. “Casey” Cagle, Eddie Hayes, former state Sen. Hunter Hill, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Marc Urbach and state Sen. Michael Williams.

Regardless of their congressional district or party, all Newton County voters will get a choice in their voice in Washington during the primary.

In District 4, incumbent Democrat Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. faces a primary challenge from Juan Parks. Joe Profit and Melanie Williams face off in the GOP primary.

In District 10, the Democratic primary features Tabitha A. Johnson-Green, Chalis Montgomery and Richard Dien Winfield. Incumbent Rep. Jody Hice drew Republican primary challenges from Bradley Griffin and Joe Hunt.

Voters in state Senate District 17 will go to the polls for the second time this year. Sen. Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, will attempt to hold a seat he won in a special January election. Nelva Lee opposes him in the Republican primary. The winner will meet Phyllis D. Hatcher, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November.

The District 43 Senate race features a Democratic primary between incumbent Tonya P. Anderson of Lithonia and challenger Joel Thibodeaux. There is no Republican qualifier.

In House District 109, Rep. Dale Rutledge, R-McDonough, drew a party challenge from J. Blake Prince. The Democratic field features Denise Gaines-Edmond and Regina Lewis-Ward.

House District 113 has a Democratic primary pitting incumbent Pam Dickerson of Conyers against challenger Sharon Henderson. There is no Republican primary.

Reps. Andrew J. “Andy” Welch, R-McDonough (District 110), and Dave Belton, R-Buckhead (District 112), were unopposed for re-election.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners will have a crowded ballot in one race. The District 2 seat features four Democrats vying to succeed Lanier Sims.

Demond Mason, Steven Rhodes, Antonio Ross and Earnest L. Simmons are running in District 2 after Sims announced he would not seek re-election. No Republican qualified to run.

The other Board of Commissioners seat up for election this year is District 4, but there will be no primary needed. Democratic incumbent J.C. Henderson and Republican challenger Spencer Arnhart qualified and will meet in the Nov. 6 general election.

Republicans Trey Bailey (District 1) and Abigail M. Coggin (District 5) and Democrat Shakila Henderson-Baker (District 3) all qualified for new terms on the county Board of Education and drew no opposition.

Runoff elections, required if no candidate gets one more vote than half, would be July 24. Voters must be registered by Tuesday to take part in the runoff for state and local races, but could register by June 25 for a runoff in a federal election, such as for Congress.

The deadline to register for the Nov. 6 general election is Oct. 9.

There are about 66,000 registered voters in Newton County, according to the Board of Registrars.