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Newton County voters prepare to make election choices
COVID-19 led to voters making choices on same day for president and in General Primary

Newton County voters will join the rest of the state Tuesday in making their choices for president while also voting for candidates for judgeships and state and local offices.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced in April he was moving the combined primary election and Georgia's presidential preference primary to June 9. 

After Gov. Brian Kemp extended a state of emergency in April "through a time period that includes almost every day of in-person voting" for the original May 19 date, Raffensperger said he wanted to give Georgia election officials "additional time to put in place contingency plans to allow for safe and secure voting" in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, Newton voters in the presidential primary will select from only one candidate, President Donald Trump, on the Republican ballot and a host of presidential candidates on the Democratic side. Only one Democrat, former Vice President Joe Biden, is still campaigning.

Meanwhile, in the primary election Tuesday, congressional, state and local candidates are vying for their political parties' nominations to compete in the Nov. 9 general election. 

In the nonpartisan general election to fill judicial seats, Newton voters will choose among three candidates for Superior Court judge in the Alcovy Judicial District. Jeffrey L. Foster of Walton County, and Cheveda McCamy and Robert H. Stansfield of Newton County, are vying for the seat being vacated by Judge Eugene M. Benton.

The party primary election includes Republican and Democratic candidates for every countywide office, as well as three seats on the Newton County Board of Commissioners and two seats on the county school board.

Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom and Clay Ivey, a longtime Conyers police officer, are seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff. The winner will face off in November against incumbent Sheriff Ezell Brown, who is seeking a fourth term and is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Incumbent Nancy Schulz will face Alana Sanders for the Democratic nomination for the District 3 county commission seat. The winner will not have a Republican opponent in November. 

Incumbent Commissioner Ronnie Cowan, a Republican, is unopposed for his party's nomination for the District 5 seat. However, Casey Duren, Dorothy Piedrahita and Cecil Spencer are seeking the Democratic nomination and the chance to face Cowan in November.

Stan Edwards, the incumbent District 1 Commissioner, also will be unopposed for the GOP nomination for his seat. He will face either Roy Parham III or Catalata Hardeman, who are seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat.

Incumbent Marcello Banes will be unopposed for re-election to his chairman's seat on the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

Also unopposed will be Clerk of Superior Courts Linda Hays and Judge of Probate Court Melanie Bell.

Democrats Dorothea Bailey-Butts and Gabriel M. White are seeking the Democratic nomination and the right to face incumbent Republican Tommy Davis in November. Davis, who is seeking a fourth term, is unopposed for the GOP nomination.

Incumbent Tax Commissioner Dana Darby, a Republican, will also be unopposed for the party's nomination. In November, Darby will face either Roosevelt Winters or Marcus Jordan, who are seeking the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's election.

Democrats Anderson Bailey, Jeffrey Johnson and Michael Syphoe are seeking the party's nomination for District 4 seat on the Newton County School Board. They are seeking to replace longtime board member Almond Turner. No Republicans qualified for the seat.

Incumbent District 2 school board member Eddie Johnson is unopposed for re-election. 

Democrat Kelly Rose will be unopposed for the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Republican State Senator Brian Strickland for the District 17 seat. Lithonia Republican Melanie Williams will be unopposed and will face Democratic incumbent State Sen. Tonya Anderson in November for the District 43 seat.

House District 112 State Rep. Dave Belton, a Republican, will be unopposed and face Democrat Malcolm Adams of Oxford in November. District 113 State Rep. Pam Dickerson and challenger Sharon Henderson are seeking the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's primary. The winner will not face a Republican in November.

Incumbent Hank Johnson will square off against Elaine Amankwah Nietman and William Haston in the Democratic primary for Georgia's 4th Congressional District seat, which covers part of western Newton County. The winner will face Republican Johsie Cruz Ezammudeen in November. 

In the 10th Congressional District covering eastern Newton County, Democrats Andrew Ferguson and Tabitha Johnson-Green will seek the chance to face incumbent Republican Jody Hice in the fall.