Candidate qualifying begins in Hephzibah, Blythe

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Qualifying for local races in the tiny municipalities of Hephzibah and Blythe started Monday.


In Hephzibah, elections on Nov. 5 will determine who wins three Hephzibah City Commission seats, said Lynn Bailey, the executive director of the Richmond County Board of Elections.

The at-large posts are held by Thomas Alley, Joseph Boulineau and Robert Buchwitz. The commission elects its own chairman, a title now held by Buchwitz.

The fee for any qualified resident to seek a commission post is $35. Qualifying lasts through 4 p.m. Friday at Hephzibah City Hall, 2538 Ga. Highway 88.

One person – Frank Godbee – paid the fee and filed a qualifying affidavit at City Hall on Monday morning, City Clerk Martha Allen said.

Also on the ballot will be a referendum for the city to allow Sunday alcohol sales.

Hephzibah has only 2,193 registered voters, but Blythe has even fewer – 386, according to Bailey.

Richmond County’s southernmost community will elect a mayor and two city council members in November. The posts are currently held by Mayor Pat Cole and council members Emory “Homer” Myers and Cindy Parham, according to Clerk Loriann Chancey.

Jacqueline Bartlett and William Dixon submitted their $27 fee Monday to qualify to run for a council post, Chancey said.

Paying the $108 fee to run for mayor was Brent Weir, she said. Weir is a member of Augusta’s planning commission who has managed campaigns for area politicians.

Qualifying for the three posts runs through 4 p.m. Friday at Blythe City Hall, 294 Church St. Whichever council candidates receive the most votes in November win the seats.

Blythe voters probably will have one other decision to make in November, Bailey said. The town is included in House District 127, whose state representative, Quincy Murphy, died Aug. 2. Though the election likely will go on the Nov. 5 ballot, its qualifying dates have not yet been set.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215



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