Area voters have many choices to make



Augusta voters have much to decide this election year but will make few local choices until November.

In the July 20 general primary, Democratic voters in the 12th Congressional District (most of Richmond County roughly south of Deans Bridge, Milledgeville and Wrightsboro roads) will decide between incumbent Congressman John Barrow and challenger Regina Thomas.

Twelfth District Republican primary voters will choose one of four Republican contenders for U.S. Representative: Michael Horner, Ray McKinney, Jeanne Seaver and Carl Smith.

All Georgia Democratic primary voters will choose between multiple candidates for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state school superintendent, commissioner of labor and U.S. senator.

Republican primary voters will select between potential nominees for Georgia governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state school superintendent, commissioner of labor, commissioner of agriculture and commissioner of insurance.

None of the qualifiers in the six state House or three Senate districts that overlap Richmond County is opposed in the primary.

If a runoff between primary candidates becomes necessary, it will be held Aug. 10.

In the meantime, candidate qualifying for the nonpartisan Augusta Commission Districts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10, the mayor's post and school board districts 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9 begins June 28.

Voters will decide those races in the general election Nov. 2.

In the primaries, runoffs and general election, early voting is available to all voters for several weeks prior to election day.


The July 20 primary will be a Republican-only affair in local races and many state races for Columbia County voters.

No Democrat chose to qualify this month to seek a seat on the Columbia County Commission, the only partisan government body in the county with open seats this year.

Just five Republicans qualified for the commission -- three incumbents and two challengers.

Retired businessman Brett McGuire seeks to unseat commission Chairman Ron Cross. Incumbent District 4 Commissioner Scott Dean will face a challenge from David Payne. District 1 Commissioner Ron Thigpen has no challengers.

Also facing no opposition in the primary and general election are state Reps. Lee Anderson, Ben Harbin and Barbara Sims, and state Sen. Bill Jackson.

Tenth District Rep. Paul Broun, the Republican incumbent, will face a Democratic challenge from Russell Edwards in the Nov. 2 general election, but neither has an opponent in the primary.

Republicans also will see no challengers for Republican incumbents Sen. Johnny Isakson and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Democrats will have two choices in each of those races.

Qualifying for nonpartisan races on the Columbia County school board starts June 28 and concludes July 2. Districts 2 and 3 are up for re-election

In Harlem, the mayor's office and two city council seats will be up for grabs and qualifying will be held Aug. 23-25.

In addition to political offices, Columbia County voters also will see on the July 20 primary ballot a 1 percent sales tax referendum for education. The county school board decided in January to ask for a continuation of a penny sales tax, which funds capital improvements.


June's primary will decide several South Carolina House races.

Republican candidates will dominate House seats in Districts 83, 84 and 86, which cover Aiken County.

Newcomers Dea Baldwin and Bill Hixon are vying for the District 83 seat left vacant by Rep. Donald Smith. The district covers portions of North Augusta in Aiken County and Edgefield County. Rep. J. Roland Smith, who's served District 84 for two decades, is challenged by Republican Susan Swanson. Incumbent Jim Stewart, who's served in District 86 since 2003, is challenged by Bill Taylor. Incumbents in House District 82 and District 96 are uncontested.

Primaries for both Republican and Democratic parties will be held June 8. All South Carolina primary voters will select potential nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, comptroller general, state education superintendent, agriculture commissioner and U.S. Senate.

Primaries will also be held for U.S. Congress District 2 and District 3.

If a runoff between primary candidates becomes necessary, it will be held June 22.

One Aiken County Council seat will be decided during the general election. Voters in District 1, which covers the northern portion of the county, will choose between incumbent Kathy Rawls and Republican Andy Windham. Seats held by Scott Singer, District 2; Sandy Haskell, District 5; and Charles Barton, District 6, are uncontested.

Elections for nonpartisan Aiken County School District Seats 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 will be held in November.

Georgia, South Carolina election qualifiers


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