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Newton County chamber to host video candidate forum ahead of primaries, seeks public participation
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COVINGTON, Ga. — State and local candidates for upcoming Newton County elections will soon be “on the clock.”

The Newton County Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday it was planning to host a “Candidates on the Clock” video candidate forum.

President Debbie Harper said the chamber was preparing brief video interviews of all current political candidates for the Newton County Board of Commissioners (District 2 and District 4), Board of Education (District 1, District 3 and District 5), state House (District 43, District 93, District 113 and District 114) and state Senate (District 17 and District 43), as well as congressional races (including U.S. House District 4 and U.S. House District 10).

Videos are expected to be posted before the primaries May 24. 

But before interviews are conducted, Harper said the public has the chance to get involved and send in questions for the candidates. To do so, Harper said the public could visit to submit questions before the April 25 deadline.

As the primaries loom, ballots are set to be quite crowded.

For County Commissioner District 2, incumbent Commissioner Demond Mason will seek reelection against Steven Rhodes, Earnest L. Simmons and Dwayne Stephens for the Democratic nomination. The Democratic winner on May 24 will face Republican Donnie Bryant in the November general election.

In Distrct 4, incumbent Commissioner J.C. Henderson is seeking his seventh term in office against Willie B. Jackson in the Democratic primary. The winner faces Republican candidate Scotty Scoggins in November.

For the Newton County Board of Education (BOE), District 1 candidates include Republican incumbent Trey Bailey and Democrat challenger Catalata Hardeman. 

For BOE District 3, incumbent Shakila Henderson-Baker will seek reelection against Democrat challenger Victoria Redding in the May primaries.

Incumbent Abigail Coggin, a Republican will seek reelection to a fourth term representing District 5 on the BOE. She is running unopposed as no other candidates qualified.

The race for state House District 93 will feature incumbent Doreen Carter, D-Lithonia, against Democrat challenger Laklieshia Izzard, of Oxford. State House District 93 was created as part of the legislative redistricting and includes parts of Newton, Rockdale and south DeKalb counties.

Sharon Henderson, D-Covington, will seek reelection for a second term in state House District 113, but she faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from fellow Newton County resident Billie Boyd-Cox.

The race for state House District 114 features former Newton County commissioner Tim Fleming of Covington and Morgan County businessman Wendell McNeal for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Malcolm Adams, of Oxford, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, in the general election.

For state Senate District 17, incumbent Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, seeks a third term, but he faces opposition from Republican challenger Brett Mauldin of Madison. The winner will face Democrat Kacy Morgan of Madison in the general election.

State Sen. Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia, seeks a fourth term representing District 43. She faces a challenge in the primary against Democrat Joe N. Lester, of Conyers.

Local candidates that qualified for congressional races included incumbent Democrat Hank Johnson, of Stonecrest, for U.S. House, District 4, as well as Republican challengers Jonathan Chavez, of Conyers, and Surrea Ivy, ,of Gwinnett County.

For U.S. House District 10, qualified Democrat candidates include Jessica Allison Fore, of Athens; Tabitha Johnson Green, of Sandersville; Phyllis Hatcher, of Conyers; Femi Oduwole, of Loganville; and Paul Walton, of Hull. Republicans that qualified include Timothy Barr, of Watkinsville; Paul Broun, of Athens; Mike Collins, of Jackson; David Curry, of Monticello; Vernon Jones, of Watkinsville; Marc McMain, of Monroe; Alan Sims, of Winder; and Mitchell Swan, of Good Hope.