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Friday April 29th, 2016 9:58AM

Beatty drops out of commission race

By Ken Stanford Reporter
FLOWERY BRANCH - Tony Beatty is dropping out of the race for a seat on the Hall County Board of Commissioners - three days after qualifying to run in the Republican Primary.

"It is with much prayer and consideration that I announce I will not continue to seek the Republican nomination in the May 20th primary for County Commission in District 1," Beatty said in a statement issued at midday Thursday. "Due to
unforeseen private family issues, I have decided that now is not the right time for me to be seeking public office. I appreciate all the support I have gained over the last several months and I want to thank them for their continued support in the future."

Beatty said that earlier in the day he was in contact with the Hall County Republican Party and the elections office and officially requested that his qualifying forms and name be withdrawn from consideration. Paul Stanley, who has been using Twitter to keep a running tally on the local GOP candidates as they qualified this week at his Gainesville law office, acknowledged in a posting shortly after noon that Beatty had informed him of his plans.

Regarding the campaign contributions Beatty has collected to date, Beatty said after his campaign settles all accounts and expenses, it will return left over contributions to the donors.

Beatty's withdrawal leaves two candidates in the race to fill the post Craig Lutz is vacating in order to run for the state Public Service Commission: Ken Cochran and Kathy Cooper, both Republicans.

As of noon Thursday, no other candidates had qualified for the race.

Follow Stanley's postings on Twitter at @Litag8r .

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