Numerous choices for voters on May 20

Area residents have more than a new Augusta mayor and a sales tax to vote on May 20.

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the primary ways for citizens to exercise their civic responsibility is to take part in elections – either by running for public office or by voting. Today is the first part of a series to explore what Americans' civic role is.


Area residents have more than a new Augusta mayor and a sales tax to vote on May 20.

The Georgia Legislature's decision to move the state general primary and the nonpartisan election date to the date of the federal primary, May 20, pushed a handful of critical decisions earlier than Richmond County and Columbia County voters ever had to make them.

The choices include selection of Democratic or Republican nominees for about 13 state House, Senate and Columbia County Commission seats for which incumbents rarely draw opposition, even from the opposing party.

Once a candidate wins the primary, only a successful write-in or Independent can get on the Nov. 4 ballot to oppose the candidate.

The busiest races are for Augusta mayor, Augusta Commission District 4 and Georgia Senate District 22, the post being given up by Sen. Hardie Davis, D-Augusta, who is running for mayor.

The mayor’s post, elected countywide, has attracted four candidates: Davis, Commissioner Alvin Mason, entrepreneur Helen Blocker-Adams and businessman Charles Cummings.

All four have filed notices with the state of their plans to seek the post.

The runoff date for the May 20 election is July 22.

The District 4 commission post currently held by Mason already has attracted four Hephzibah candidates, and the Senate District 22 seat, representing most of Richmond County, has three Democratic contenders: Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson, real estate agent Elmyria Chivers and lawyer Harold Jones.

None of the other nine incumbent legislators who represent parts of Richmond or Columbia counties have any announced opposition.

Also planned for May 20 is a seventh special purpose local-option sales tax for Augusta, although city officials haven’t made much headway in narrowing a $741 million wish list to a form to present to voters.

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SC's US Senate incumbents have millions on hand
Second Augusta Commission District 2 candidate announces run
Congressional candidates stop in Evans
Johnson pushes new $100 million coliseum complex at campaign announcement
Governor Deal signs bill moving elections to May

(Qualifying starts March 3)


Sen. Hardie Davis, Helen Blocker-Adams, Charles Cummings, Alvin Mason

Augusta Commission District 2

Dennis Williams, Cleveland Garrison

Augusta Commission District 4

Sammie Sias, Melvin Ivey, Willie Peoples, Gwendolyn Watts

Augusta Commission District 6

Ben Hasan, Bob Finnegan

Augusta Commission District 8

Wayne Guilfoyle



Grady Smith, Brandon Dial

State Court Judges (2) - Richard Slaby*, David Watkins*

Columbia County Board of Education

District 2 - Kristi Baker

District 3 - Mike Sleeper

Democratic Primary candidates

Senate District 22 - Corey Johnson, Elmyria Chivers, Harold Jones

House District 121 - Wayne Howard

House District 123 - Gloria Frazier

House District 125 - Earnest Smith

House District 127 - Brian Prince

Republican Primary candidates

Columbia County Commission Chairman - Ron Cross, Jim Bartley

Columbia County Commission District 4 - Bill Morris

Columbia County Commission District 1 - Doug Duncan

Senate District 23 - Jesse Stone

Senate District 24 - Bill Jackson

House District 33 - Tom McCall*

House District 122 - Ben Harbin

House District 123 - Barbara Sims


*Incumbents who have not confirmed they are seeking reelection


• Primary/Nonpartisan Candidate Qualifying, March 3-7

• Paper absentee ballots available, April 4-May 16

• Last day to register to vote in May 20 election/primary, April 21

• Advance voting begins for May 20 election/primary, April 28

• Saturday voting, May 10

• Election/Primary Day, May 20

• May 20 runoff date, July 22

• Last day to register to vote in Nov. 4 general election, Oct. 6

• General Election, Nov. 4

• Runoff, Dec. 2, 2014


Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:57

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Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:44

Aiken man charged with tax evasion