U-R update

Qualifying continued Thursday for local races and the list of candidates throwing their hat into the ring expanded to include a contested race for Baldwin County Solicitor. 

Baldwin County Solicitor incumbent Skye Gess qualified Thursday for a four-year term as a Republican candidate. She faces opposition for the post from Democratic challenger Hoganne Harrison, who qualified on Wednesday. 

Gess was appointed to that position by former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal following the unexpected death of Maxine Blackwell.

In other qualifying, incumbent coroner John Gonzalez qualified to run for another term. 

On the nonpartisan ballot, Baldwin County Probate Judge Todd A. Blackwell has qualified to seek re-election as well.

Three incumbent members of the Baldwin County Board of Education also have qualified to seek another term, according to Blackwell, who also serves as the county’s election superintendent. They include: 

•Jon Jackson, District 4

•Lyn Chandler, District 3 and

•Shannon Hill, District 2.

Incumbent elected officials who had qualified with the Baldwin County Democratic Committee include: 

•Baldwin County District 1 Commissioner Emily C. Davis; 

•Baldwin County Chief Magistrate Shane Geeter; and 

•Baldwin County Superior Court Clerk Mitch Longino, according to Baldwin County Democratic Committee Chairman Quentin T. Howell.  

Three incumbent Republican county commission candidates have qualified to seek re-election, according to Baldwin County Republican Committee Chairwoman Janice Westmoreland.

Those candidates included: 

•Baldwin County Commission Chairman Henry R. Craig; 

•Commissioner John H. Westmoreland; and 

•Commissioner Sammy Hall. 

At the state level, meanwhile, where qualifying has to be done in Atlanta, two Republican candidates hopeful of becoming the next district attorney of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit are now official candidates. They include: 

•T. Wright Barksdale, of Gray; and 

•Carl S. Cansino, of Milledgeville.

Barksdale currently serves an assistant district attorney and primarily prosecutes criminal cases in Putnam and Hancock counties. He has been a prosecutor for the past seven years.

Cansino, meanwhile, is a criminal defense attorney whose law firm is located in Milledgeville. Cansino, who also is a former assistant district attorney, currently serves as the city of Milledgeville’s municipal court prosecutor. 

Both Barksdale and Cansino qualified as Republicans. 

Another state officeholder who has qualified seeking re-election is state Rep. Rick Williams, R-Milledgeville.

Qualifying also has brought out some political newcomers as candidates on the Democratic side.

One of those candidates is Danny Register, who is seeking the District 3 seat on the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners. The seat currently is held by Commissioner Sammy Hall, a Republican, who qualified for re-election shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to Janice Westmoreland.

Another Democratic candidate, Amy Burt, has qualified to run for the District 5 seat held by Commissioner John H. Westmoreland.

Kendrick Butts, has qualified to run for the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners District 2 seat, currently held by Commissioner Tommy French.

French, a Democrat, has indicated he does not plan to seek re-election.

Dr. Calvin Butts has qualified to run against District 5 Commissioner John H. Westmoreland.

Qualifying for local political office began Monday morning and will end at noon Friday.

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