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Local races heating up as deadline to qualify nears
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With qualification deadline for most local races falling at noon Thursday, a flurry of activity has led to some formerly uncontested races becoming contested.
While flirting with a run for District Attorney General for a while, local attorney Robert Newman made it official Valentine’s Day when he filed to run against incumbent Lisa Zavogiannis in August.
Newman, who was defeated by Zavogiannis in the Democratic Primary eight years ago before she went on to unseat then-incumbent Dale Potter in the August General Election, will run as an Independent this time, meaning the two will not meet until August.
At present, Zavogiannis and Newman are the only two apparent candidates since no other papers are out.
“We still had papers being picked up for offices Tuesday,” said election administrator Donna Smith. “They have until noon Thursday to return the papers with the required signatures.”
Along with Zavogiannis now being officially challenged, Circuit Court Clerk Bernie Morris could face a contested race for the first time in years.
Former sheriff’s deputy Ramsey Womack has picked up papers to run for Circuit Court Clerk. He will be facing off against Morris in the May primary if he qualifies.
While also not official, General Sessions Judge Bill Locke could renew a former rivalry in August as Jean Brock has picked up papers to run as an Independent. Brock finished second in a four-way race to fill the unexpired term of longtime Judge Larry Ross who retired midterm. Locke was appointed to take his place and then was chosen in a special election to finish Ross’ term.
While there could be several one-on-one races on tap this election season, the run for County Executive will see a big field.
At present, there are 13 people with qualifying papers in hand. Less than half that number has qualified. Those officially in the field are Democrats Hackett Lee Lance, Kenneth Rogers and Herschel Wells, Republicans John Shields and Danny Orr and Independent Jonathan A. Ferrell.
Complete coverage of those who qualified to run will be included in Friday’s edition. Those qualifying have one week to drop out of the race if they decide not to be on the ballot.