Candidates qualify for local races
Democrats in the county gathered Friday evening following the candidate qualification deadline to officially kick-off the election season and to introduce the host of candidates that party officials said they are proud to offer this year.
The party primary election on March 13 will be interesting from the democratic standpoint since almost every local office will have at least two candidates vying for voters’ support.
Local candidates that qualified for election are as follows:
For the Democratic Party, Stratt Byars, Connie Green and Chris Nichols all qualified to run for the office of probate judge; William Bishop, Tommy Davis, Chris Fretwell and Billy Wilson will run for commissioner of District 1, a spot which was previously held by Byars; Howard Hutcheson will run for re-election for commissioner of District 2 against Wyman Pounders; Randy Hargett and Mark Holland will run for commissioner of District 3, a spot which was previously held by Greg Smith who opted not to seek re-election; Don Hastings will run for re-election for commissioner of District 4 against Anthony Bentley; Gary Williams will seek re-election unopposed as the Franklin County superintendent; Ralton Baker will seek re-election unopposed as a county school board member in District 1; Ralph Winchester will seek re-election as a county school board member in District 5 against Mike Shewbart; and Bobby Brown, Ray Hill, Kyle Palmer and Earl Potter will all seek the office of constable in unopposed races in their respective precincts.
On the state level, District Judge Paula McDowell and Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey will be running unopposed on the democratic ticket but current Circuit Clerk Anita Morgan Scott will face local attorney Jeff Barksdale in the democratic primary election.
For the Republican Party, current probate judge Barry Moore will seek another term in office; Chris Wallace will run for commissioner of District 1; and Rayburn Massey, who served as a county commissioner from 2004 – 2008, will run for commissioner of District 3.