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Friday February 12th, 2016 12:42AM

Fate of T-SPLOST, hundreds of candidates to be decided Tuesday

By Ken Stanford Reporter
GAINESVILLE - The fate of the statewide transportation sales tax (T-SPLOST) and hundreds of political candidates will be decided by the voters Tuesday when Georgia's Democratic and Republican General Election primaries are held.

In many places in North Georgia, any winners who emerge from Tuesday's voting can start making plans to take office January 1. That's because there are no Democratic candidates for local office in many of the counties. But, like Hall County, there are plenty of places where there are several candidates running for one or more offices and, chances are, many of them will be campaigning for another three weeks, leading up to the Aug. 21 runoffs.

Three weeks of early voting ended Friday and while thousands of people took advantage of it, others will be going to the polls on Tuesday.

In Hall County, there are contested races, all on the GOP ballot, for sheriff, county commission chairman, two county commission district posts, county school board, tax commissioner, and probate judge. The county is a part of the new 9th Congressional District and the new State House District 103. There are three candidates running for the Republican nomination for the congressional post and two seeking the GOP nomination for the new State House seat. One Democrat is running unopposed to challenge the Republican congressional nominee and there is no Democrat running for the State House District 103 post. (See link below to candidate profiles.)

The vote on T-SPLOST is being held in 12 different regions around the state. Hall County is in Region 2 along with 12 other counties in northeast Georgia. (See earlier story.)

Also on the ballot in Jackson County will be two alcoholic beverage questions. One will ask voters if they want the Sunday sale of beer and wine by-the-drink legalized in the county. The other deals with legalizing the package sale of beer and wine in the county on Sundays.

In Dawsonville, meanwhile, there will be a special mayor's election. Acting Mayor James Grogan and former city councilman Calvin Byrd are the candidates for the unexpired term of the late Joe Lane Cox. Cox died earlier this year. Grogan, a member of the city council, was serving as mayor pro-tem at the time of Cox's death. Both he and Byrd resigned their council seats in order to run for mayor. Special elections will be held Nov. 6 to fill the vacancies on the council created by their resignations.

By clicking on the Secretary of State's website link below, you can check your voter registration status (if you are not sure whether you are registered to vote in the primaries), find your poll location, and view a sample ballot for your polling place, among other things. If you find that you are not registered to vote Tuesday, it is too late to sign up. However, you still have until Oct. 8 to register and be eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 General Election.


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