Originally created 09/14/99

Qualifying begins for commission race



Qualifying started Monday for seats on the Augusta Commission, with only one commissioner facing opponents in Nov. 2 elections and one not yet making his plans known.

Five of the 10 nonpartisan commission seats are up for election. Candidates can sign up from 8:30-4:30 p.m. daily through Friday at the Richmond County Board of Elections. The qualifying fee is $360, or 3 percent of the $12,000 annual salary.

In the District 2 race in central and south Augusta, Commissioner Freddie Handy faces challenges from Willie M. Law IV and Marion Williams.

A fourth candidate, James Payne, 51, an electrical engineer, has announced his intention to run and has filed the necessary papers to accept campaign contributions, but he had not qualified by Monday evening.

The only incumbent who did not qualify Monday was Commissioner J.B. Powell, whose District 6 covers parts of west and south Augusta. He has not said publicly whether he will run again.

But if Mr. Powell runs, he will face Fred A. "Andy" Cheeks III, a research supervisor at Savannah River Site. Mr. Cheeks, who announced his candidacy months ago, qualified Monday for the election.

District 4 Commissioner Richard Colclough, who represents west Augusta, was the only candidate in the race for his seat by Monday evening.

However, District 4 challengers Brian Green, King Singleton and Brian Wilson have filed notices of their intentions to accept campaign contributions in the race.

South Augusta's District 8 Commissioner Ulmer Bridges and Super District 10 Commissioner Bill Kuhlke also qualified Monday.

Reach Mark Mathis at (706) 823-3332 or marmathis@yahoo.com.