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Thursday September 3rd, 2015 8:54AM

Ellis won't be in HCC race; Gibbs set to run unopposed

By Ken Stanford Reporter
GAINESVILLE - North Hall insurance salesman Steven Ellis won't be on the ballot in November in the race for the Hall County Commission seat held by Scott Gibbs.<br /> <br /> Ellis had announced plans earlier this year to try and qualify as an Independent. But, Hall County Director of Elections Charlotte Sosebee said Wednesday he did not meet the deadline to qualify which was noon Tuesday.<br /> <br /> Sosebee said earlier this year Ellis would 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." That means he would have needed 935 valid names on his petition. <br /> <br /> Ellis said collecting the required number of valid signatures turned out to be a daunting task.<br /> <br /> "[A voter's name] has to match exactly as it appeared when you first registered as it's printed, the signature must match exactly or as it appeared when you first registered...." said Ellis. He said he was told that as much as a third of signatures on a petition usually are declared invalid.<br /> <br /> Plus, he said the guidelines for the petitioning process - down to the size and color of the paper - were very strict. That, he said, is not entirely fair to an independent candidate.<br /> <br /> "[In Georgia] you're pretty much guaranteed to win if you're a Republican," said Ellis. "I don't really agree with the fact that they along with the Democratic Party were the ones that put these obstacles in place and exempted themselves from the same obstacles."<br /> <br /> Ellis said it is possible he will seek office in the future.<br /> <br /> Gibbs, a Republican, is seeking his second term in office and ran unopposed in the Republican Primary in May. He has no Democratic opposition.<br /> <br /> <i>AccessNorthGA.com's B.J. Williams contributed to this article.</i>
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