Five out of six announced candidates qualified Wednesday to compete in the hotly contested Richmond County sheriff’s race. They were among numerous candidates who qualified for several county and state offices.
Richmond County school Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree was the first sheriff candidate to qualify at Democratic Party headquarters on Greene Street. Roundtree was among several who showed up to qualify before 10 a.m., including lawyer Harry James, who qualified for probate judge, and Kellie Kenner McIntyre, who qualified to run for solicitor general. McIntyre will oppose her boss, the incumbent Charles Evans, who qualified as a Republican candidate.
Two sheriff’s employees – Capt. Scott Peebles and Lt. Robbie Silas – also qualified for sheriff Wednesday, said Democratic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum. A third sheriff’s employee, Lt. John Ivey, is expected to qualify for the sheriff’s race before the noon deadline Friday, Greenbaum said.
Other Democrats who qualified Wednesday include Elaine Johnson for clerk of Superior Court, Steve Kendrick for tax commissioner, Grover Tuten for coroner, H. Scott Allen for presiding judge of Civil and Magistrate Court, and William D. Jennings III for chief judge of Civil and Magistrate Court.
At the downtown law office of Sherry Barnes, sheriff’s candidates Freddie Sanders and Michael Godowns paid their $2,597 qualifying fee to pursue the post as Republicans.
Sanders is a lawyer and the former police chief of Richmond County. Godowns is a former sheriff’s deputy who works as a security officer at the Vogtle nuclear power plant. Lawyer Carleton Vaughn also qualified Wednesday for the position of probate judge, Barnes said.
Qualifying also began Wednesday in the Richmond County Board of Elections office for a handful of nonpartisan races, including State Court judge and Richmond County marshal.
Qualifying for State Court judge Wednesday were incumbents John Flythe and Patricia Booker, said Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey. Also qualifying Wednesday was Richmond County Marshal Steve Smith, she said.
Wednesday marked the deadline for the U.S. Department of Justice to pre-clear Senate Bill 82, which moved the dates of Augusta Commission and Richmond County school board races to July. Justice did not clear the law, so the elections remain in November, Bailey said.