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Qualifying closes. Let the campaigning begin
campaign signs
Campaign signs along Highway 278 in Covington mean election season is here

Qualifying closed at noon Friday for Newton County’s 2020 elections. Every countywide seat is up for grabs this year along with three seats on the Newton County Board of Commissioners and two seats on the Board of Education.

Newton County voters will also go to the polls this year to elect the county’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, Georgia’s two U.S. Senators, the county’s delegation to the Georgia General Assembly and the next president of the United States.

Locally, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, Newton County voters will see a competitive race for sheriff this spring, where police captain Ken Malcom will face-off with another police officer, Clay Ivey, in May’s Republican primary. The winner of that race will go up against incumbent Sheriff Ezell Brown in November. Brown, a Democrat, was first elected as the county’s first African-American sheriff in 2008. He faces no primary opposition.

Voters will also see competitive races for the BOC this spring when incumbent District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz faces a primary challenge from college professor Alana Sanders. The winner in May will likely not have any competition this fall as no one qualified for the Republican primary for the seat. Likewise for the commission District 5 seat, where Dorothy Piedrahita, Spencer Cecil and Casey Duren will go against each other to see who will face incumbent Commissioner Ronnie Cowan in November. Cowan has no primary opposition.

Incumbent BOC District 1 Commissioner Stan Edwards faces no primary opposition but will face a challenge in November from the winner of May’s primary between Roy Parham III and Catalata Hardeman.

In the race for Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney, incumbent Layla Zon will face off against Randy McGinley in the Republican primary. Destiny Bryant was the only Democrat to qualify.

Commission Chairman Marcello Banes, elected in 2016 as the county’s first African-American commission chairman was the only person to qualify to run for his current post.

Other incumbents running unopposed in 2020 are Clerk of Superior Courts Linda Hays and Judge of Probate Court Melanie Bell.

In the race for Newton County Coroner, Democrats Dorothea Bailey-Butts and Gabriel M. White will vie this spring to see who will face incumbent Tommy Davis. Davis, who was first elected in 2008, faces no primary opposition.

Voters will also see a competitive race for tax commissioner this fall when incumbent Dana Darby faces off against the winner of the primary contest between Roosevelt Winters and Marcus Jordan.

There will be one competitive election for a spot on the Newton County Board of Education this spring when Michael Syphoe, Jeffrey Johnson and Anderson Bailey compete for the District 4 seat. The seat was previously held by longtime school board member Almond Turner.

District 2 BOE member Eddie Johnson is running unopposed this year. 

In state senate races affecting Newton County, Democrat Kelly Rose qualified to face incumbent Republican State Senator Brian Strickland for the District 17 seat this fall, while Lithonia Republican Melanie Williams qualified to face Democrat incumbent State Sen. Tonya Anderson in November.

In house races, District 112 State Rep. Dave Belton, a Republican, is slated to face Democrat Malcolm Adams of Oxford in November. District 113 State Rep. Pam Dickerson will face will face fellow Democrat Sharon Henderson in May’s primary. No Republican qualified for the seat.

Voters will also have an array of Democrats to choose from in the spring as seven people qualified for the chance to try to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue in the fall.

District 4 U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson will face a primary challenge from Lilburn attorney Elaine Amankwah Nietman and Decatur contractor William Haston in May’s Democratic primary. The winner will face off against Marietta Republican Johsie Cruz Ezammudeen in November.

In the District 10 U.S. House race, Democrat Andrew Ferguson will compete against Tabitha Johnson-Green in May to determine who will oppose incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Jody Hice in the fall.