Thursday November 26th, 2015 4:31PM

Collins picks up GOP opposition; Gibbs may have oppositon

By Ken Stanford Reporter
U.S. Representative Doug Collins of Gainesville picked up opposition from within his own party as qualifying closed Friday for the May 20 General Election primaries in Georgia - and Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs may have opposition in the fall from an independent candidate.

Bernie Fontaine of Suches, a retired military man, qualified Friday to seek the Republican nomination to the 9th District congressional seat. Collins had qualified to run for a second term earlier in the week. Democrat David Vogel of Hull has also entered the race.

Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said Friday that a North Hall insurance salesman, Steven Ellis, has qualified as an independent to run for the seat on the county commission now held by Scott Gibbs. However, his name will not be on the ballot in May and there are other criteria he must meet before he can run in the General Election in November.

"He will have to submit a petition with five percent of (the) number (of) voters who were eligible to vote when this office was last elected, which was in 2010; therefore he will need 935 valid signatures to have his name on the General Election Ballot," Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said. "Since we only recognize the Democratic and Republican parties during a primary in Georgia, the Independent candidates will be on the General Ballot."


All members of the Hall County state legislative delegation will be running unopposed this year: State Sens. Butch Miller and John Wilkinson and State Reps. Lee Hawkins, Carl Rogers, Emory Dunahoo and Timothy Barr.


Larry Baldwin qualified to run for another term as Hall County State Court judge. He will have no opposition.

Stephanie Woodard is running unopposed for another term as State Court Solicitor.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Superior Court judges Jason Deal and C. Andrew Fuller, both of Gainesville, will also be unopposed.

The same is true of Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.


Paul Stanley, who has been handling qualifying for local Republicans this week at his Gainesville law office, says no one else qualified Friday.

Those who qualified with him earlier in the week are:

Incumbent Sam Chapman for the Post 1 seat on the Hall County Board of Education.

Traci McBride, Mark Pettitt and incumbent Brian Sloan for the Post 2 seat on the BOE.

Paul Wayne Godfrey for the at-large seat on the BOE along with incumbent Bill Thompson.

Incumbent county commissioner Scott Gibbs.

Kathy Cooper and Ken Cochran are seeking the seat on the county commission Craig Lutz is vacating to run for state Public Service Commissioner. (Republican Mike Beatty qualified to run for the post on Monday but withdrew from the race on Thursday.)

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