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Election season open after qualifying
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The 2012 election has officially begun. About 57 candidates qualified by noon Friday for partisan and non-partisan local county races, state house and senate seats and the U.S. Congressional seat that covers Rockdale and Newton counties.

There are no uncontested local partisan races this year; every seat will face competition, if not in the primaries then in the general election.

Most of the five non-partisan school board seats up for election face much competition. Long-time Board of Education incumbent members Darlene Hotchkiss and Jean Yontz and one-term member Donald McKinney declined to run for re-election.

Yontz cited several personal issues, including caring for her 91 year old mother as well as running her business, Glenn’s Bar-b-que. “It was an extremely difficult decision for me,” she said. But Yontz said that she won’t back away from this political season and will be out supporting her favorite candidates.

July 31 will be key for the six state House seats in Rockdale’s delegation, with primary challengers in each seat except District 91, held by Dee Dawkins-Haigler. Former state Rep. Toney Collins jumps back into the spotlight in the race for District 113. Former politicians and previously unsuccessful candidates turned out for the District 92 race, which has no incumbent; candidates include Kathy Harvey, who ran unsuccessfully ran for Conyers mayor, Sherri Washington, who ran unsuccessfully for former District 94,  former Lithonia mayor Tonya P. Anderson, former Lithonia city council member Doreen Carter, and educator Doreen Williams.

The Fourth Congressional District will be one to watch as two Democrats and two Republicans try to unseat incumbent Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson this fall.

The general election for the Rockdale Superior Court Judge, State Court Judge and Board of Education races will be held on July 31.

Primaries for partisan races will be held on July 31 as well and include Commission Chair and Post I Commissioner, Sheriff, Tax Commissioner, Coroner, Clerk of Courts, Chief Magistrate Judge, Probate Judge, as well as state House and Senate districts, and the U.S. District 4 Congressional seat.

The general election for all partisan races and the U.S. President will be held on November 6.


Candidates listed in alphabetical order within party. Party listed in alphabetical order


Partisan local candidates:


Commission Chair:

Brian Jenkins (D)

Richard Oden (D)- INCUMBENT

Jason Hill (R)- Business Owner


Commissioner Post 1:

Oz Nesbitt, Jr. (D)- Car Sales INCUMBENT

Jerry Shepperd (D)- Business Owner

Tom Harrison (R)- Business Owner

Sam Smiley (R)- Business Owner



Donald Ferguson (D) - retired captain deputy

Eric Levett (D)- Deputy

T. Jeff Wigington (R)- INCUMBENT


Tax Commissioner:

RJ Hadley (D)- Non-profit Manager

Daniel Ray (R)- INCUMBENT



George Levett (D)- Funeral Home Director

Jo Coggins (R)- Medical Clerk/Deputy Coroner


Clerk of Superior and State Courts:

Ruth A. Wilson (D)- INCUMBENT

Holly Bowie (R)- Paralegal


Magistrate Court Chief Judge:

Phinia Aten (D)- Attorney

Clarence "Rudy" Horne, Jr. (R)- INCUMBENT


Probate Court Judge:

Caycie Dix (D)- Attorney

Charles Mays, Sr. (D)- Contractor

Lillis Brown (R)-  INCUMBENT




Nonpartisan local candidates:


Rockdale County State Court Judge:

Nancy Bills - Attorney/Judge


Rockdale County Superior Court Judge:

Robert Mumford - Attorney

Gary Washington - Attorney

Earnelle Winfrey - Attorney

Rockdale County Board of Education:


Post 1:

Charcella C. Green - Professor/Consultant

Mandy North - Certified Public Accountant


Post 2:

Kimberly Baker - Director

Patrick S. Coppock - Professor

Bradley D. Smith - Business Owner/ Fireman (Incumbent)

Timothy D. Williams - Marketing Consultant


Post 3:

Wales F. Barksdale- Attorney INCUMBENT


Post 4:

Sharon Pharr- Credit Manager

Darrel L. Stephens- Educator


Post 5:

Cornell Brown - contract specialist (GDOL)

Tony Dowdy - salesman

Rodney J. Fanner - engineer

Willie J. Washington - retired military/business owner



State and Federal candidates:


State Senate


District 17:

Nelva Lee (D)- President MITIo Institute

Rick Jeffares (R)- Business Owner/Project Manager INCUMBENT


District 43:

Ronald Ramsey (D)- Attorney INCUMBENT


State House


District 90:

Pamela Stephenson (D)- Attorney INCUMBENT

Scott Hughes (D)- Healthcare Administration


District 91:

Dee Dawkins Haigler (D) INCUMBENT


District 92:

Tonya P. Anderson (D) – Consultant and Pastor

Doreen Carter (D)- Accountant

Kathy L. Harvey (D)- Minister/Counselor and Consultant

Sherri Washington (D)- Attorney

Doreen Williams (D)- Educator


District 109:

Steve Davis (R)- Real Estate Broker INCUMBENT

Dale Rutledge (R)- Business Owner


District 113:

Pamela Dickerson (D)- Business Owner INCUMBENT

Sharon Sawyer (D)- Financial Analyst

Toney Collins (D)- Engineer


District 114:

Tom Kirby (R)- Human Resource Safety Consultant INCUMBENT

Rodney Upton (R)- Contractor


U.S. Congress:


District 4:

Courtney Dillard (D)- Real Estate Developer/Minister

Hank Johnson (D)- Attorney INCUMBENT

Lincoln Nunnally (D)- Consultant

Greg Pallen (R)- President/CEO

J. Chris Vaughn (R)- Minister