14 candidates qualify for Augusta Commission election

Fourteen candidates set their sights on five Augusta Com­mission seats during last week’s qualifying for May 20 elections.

Only District 8 Com­mis­sioner Wayne Guil­foyle escaped opposition. The elections in districts 2 and 10 garnered two candidates each, while the District 4 race drew four candidates.

The District 6 race to replace two-term Commis­sion­er Joe Jackson, who is term-limited, attracted five candidates, including a former Republican Party official from the Alleluia Community, Bob Finnegan, and newspaper publisher and activist Ben Hasan.

Also signing up to run in the “swing” district, where blacks and whites are almost evenly distributed, were pastor and radio personality Angela Harden and longtime county government employee Roger Garvin.

If no candidate in a race garners more than 50 percent of votes May 20, a runoff will be held July 22.

One-term Super District 10 Commis­sioner Grady Smith will defend against a single challenger, attorney Bran­don Dial.

In District 2, longtime former NAACP branch Presi­dent Dennis Williams faces Cleveland Garrison, a businessman and one of five pastors seeking local elected office May 20.

Longtime neighborhood activist Sammie Sias is running again for the District 4 seat held by Al­vin Mason, who is running for mayor.

Sias faces the Rev. Melvin Ivey, a member of the activist group the Baptist Minis­ters Con­ference of Augusta; former Wrens Councilwoman Tomasenia Jackson; and Gwen Watts, a college instructor and small businesswoman.

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