Qualifying ends in Fayette with lots of choices on tap


The local election scene will be a lively one in Fayette County for the Republican party in particular, as there will be a four-way race for the Post 4 board of education seat being vacated by Dr Bob Todd.

Qualifying ended at noon Friday for candidates seeking the two board of education and county commission seats that are up for grabs.

At the last minute Friday, BoE post 5 incumbent Leonard Presberg drew a Republican challenger in Dean Dunton, officials said. They will face off in November in the new majority-minority district created by a federal judge to allow the election of a black candidate per a lawsuit filed by the NAACP.

The post 4 BoE Republican race will feature Jane Owens, Diane Basham, John Kimbell and Mindy Fredrickson. The winner will face Democratic challenger Ogechi Oparah in the November general election. Oparah is unopposed in the primary.

Complicating the BoE makeup is the fact that BoE member Mary Kay Bacallao qualified to run in a crowded field for state school superintendent, meaning she is expected to resign from her post. The remaining four board members will choose a replacement for her vacant seat in the coming weeks, as such vacancies are filled by the board members themselves and not voters, according to state law.

The majority-minority 5th district will have a race for the county commission seat, as incumbent Allen McCarty will face a challenge from Tyrone resident Pota Coston, who narrowly missed being elected to the Tyrone Town Council in November.

Meanwhile, former Peachtree City mayors Harold Logsdon and Don Haddix have signed up to take on Post 3 County Commissioner Steve Brown on the Republican ticket.

Also unopposed for office is incumbent Superior Court Judge Christopher C. Edwards, who drew no challengers in the non-partisan race.

At the state level, seven Republicans are seeking the 16th District Senate seat being vacated by Tyrone resident Ronnie Chance. Local homebuilder Bob Barnard, attorney David Studdard, project manager Erik Manning, pilot Gil Williams, attorney James Clifton, insurance agent Marty Harbin and attorney Bill Johnston have qualified for the seat. No Democrats qualified for the post.

Incumbents District 64 Democrat Virgil Fludd and District 63 Democrat Ronnie Mabra are unopposed, as are District 72 Republican Matt Ramsey and District 73 Republican John Yates.

A name familiar to some residents has qualified to oppose sitting Attorney General Sam Olens. Jonesboro attorney Greg Hecht represented a portion of Fayette County a number of years ago and qualified as a Democrat.