Challengers line up for Richmond County school board

There could be a shake-up on the Richmond County Board of Education in November as at least four trustees are being challenged this year for re-election.

 

District 4 trustee Barbara Pulliam will face opposition from controversial former longtime Richmond County principal Wayne Frazier after he qualified Tuesday.

Frazier, the husband of state Rep. Gloria Frazier, resigned his position as head of the system’s alternative school in 2014 after being demoted to a classroom teacher. He now heads a local barber college.

Board President Helen Minchew faces a challenge for the Super District 10 seat from military relocation Realtor Tony Whiteside, while District 5 trustee Patsy Scott is opposed by Douglas Jackson. Whiteside and Jackson qualified Tuesday.

District 1 trustee Marion Barnes, who qualified Monday, has a declared opponent in Joey Traina, although Traina hasn’t qualified yet.

The nonpartisan school board posts aren’t subject to state law moving the races to May 24 and will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Also qualifying Tuesday were District 1 Commissioner Bill Fennoy, District 3 Commissioner Mary Davis and District 7 Commissioner Sean Frantom. None were opposed as of Tuesday.

In commission District 5, businessman Kelby Walker on Tuesday joined Andrew Jefferson, a retired education administrator, in pursuit of the commission seat held by term-limited Bill Lockett.

The commission elections are May 24. In partisan races, nearly all of Augusta’s incumbent Democrats are seeking reelection this year.

Lowell Greenbaum, chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party, said the following officeholders qualified at the downtown party headquarters this week: Coroner Mark Bowen, Presiding Civil and Magistrate Court Judge H. Scott Allen, Chief Civil and Magistrate Judge William D. Jennings III, Probate Judge Harry B. James, Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick.

None of the incumbents have any declared opposition so far except for Roundtree. Former sheriff’s deputy Brian McDuffie announced he’s running for the post as a Republican, although county Republican officials hadn’t reported any candidates having qualified as of Tuesday. McDuffie was fired by Roundtree in August 2013 on charges of assaulting a 15-year-old during an arrest,

Other Democrats qualifying for open Richmond County offices this week include attorney Omeeka P. Loggins, who is running for state court solicitor, and Hattie Holmes Sullivan for clerk of superior court. Longtime clerk Elaine Johnson is not seeking reelection and current solicitor Kellie Kenner McIntyre is running for Judge of State Court of Richmond County.

If unopposed on the May 24 Democratic primary ballot, the candidates will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

In legislative races, the field hoping to represent the area also grew larger Tuesday. State Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, drew opposition from fellow Republican Stephen Ham­mond, a Sylvania-based registered investment advisor.

The race to replace retiring state Sen. Bill Jackson, R-Appling, got more crowded, too. Two more Republicans – Pat Goodwin and Joe Edge, both of Evans – qualified Tuesday, joining Lee Anderson and Greg Grzybowski who qualified Monday. The lone Democrat so far is Brenda Jordan of Hartwell.

In state House races, Rep. Earnest Smith, D-Augusta, is being challenged by fellow Democrat Sheila Clark Nelson, a retired postal employee from Augusta.

Local candidate qualifying continues at Democratic and Republican parties headquarters in Augusta and at Richmond County Board of Elections for nonpartisan candidates weekdays through noon Friday.

No new candidates qualified Tuesday for Columbia County races, and so far no one has qualified for the District 4 school board post held by Roxanne Whitaker, who is not seeking reelection.

Walter Jones of Morris News Service contributed to this report.

Qualifying begins for Georgia's May 24 primary
Candidate qualifying for dozens of Augusta-area posts starts Monday
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