The chance to formally enter local and state races ended yesterday, but continues through today at noon for the Cherokee County State Court judge races.
At the state level, Woodstock resident Patrick Thompson qualified Friday as a Democrat to face off in November against the winner of the Republican primary race between U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) and challengers Michael Opitz of Marietta and William Llop of Sandy Springs.
Democrat Kevin “Big Kev” Westphal of Kennesaw has also tossed his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent Republican John Carson for the House District 46 race in November.
At the local level, former county Fire Chief Raymond Gunnin qualified to challenge incumbent Jim Hubbard for the Cherokee County Commission District 2 seat for the July 31 Republican primary. Gunnin joins fellow challenger Channing Ruskell, who qualified earlier in the week.
State Court prosecutor Michelle Homier qualified for the nonpartisan state court judge primary. She joins attorney Jeff Rusbridge in the race for the seat being vacated at the end of his term by Chief Judge C.J. Gober, who is retiring from the bench. State Court Judge Dee Morris qualified earlier to run again for his seat.
Incumbent County Surveyor Ron Wilke also qualified to seek another term and will run unopposed.
Other incumbents who won’t have challengers include Chief Magistrate Court Judge James Drane, Superior Court Judge Ellen McElyea, Probate Court Judge Keith Wood, Clerk of Courts Patty Baker and Coroner Earl Darby.
Shannon Wallace will also have no opposition to become the next Cherokee County district attorney. David Cannon Jr. and Mark Shriver will tee off in the Republican primary for the Cherokee County Superior Court.
For Nelson’s special election to fill the city council seat vacated by Larry Sellers, both residents Edith Portillo and Tammi Loggins have qualified. Nelson’s election will be held on July 31.
Other candidates qualifying this week are: incumbent state Rep. Charlice Byrd and challenger Michael Caldwell for the House District 20 seat. The winner will face Democratic challenger Lillian Burnaman; Danny Dukes and Cherokee School Board Vice Chairwoman Janet Read for the newly created school board chair seat; Kyla Cromer and Kelly Marlow for the school board District 1 seat; incumbent Kim Cochran and challenger Patsy Jordan for the school board District 2 seat; Brian Poole and Chris Hampton for the Cherokee County Commission District 3 slot; incumbent state Sen. John Albers for Senate District 56 seat and Democrat Akhtar Sadiq; Mandi Ballinger, Alan Shinall and Dean Sheridan for the newly created House District 23 seat.
Incumbent John Carson and challenger Martin Hawley for the House District 46 seat; Sonya Little, Kenny Phelps and Ron Wilkie for tax commissioner; incumbent Sheriff Roger Garrison and challenger David Waters for Cherokee County sheriff.