Published on July 21st, 2014 |


Buckhead voters return to polls Tuesday to decide runoff races

Buckhead voters head back to the polls Tuesday to choose the Republican nominee for a seat in the state Legislature, a Fulton County judge, vote on candidates for State School Superintendent and the District 11 U.S. House seat. The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Beth Beskin

Beth Beskin

In the District 54 Georgia House battle, Republicans Beth Beskin and John McCloskey meet again on the ballot, although McCloskey has suspended his campaign and thrown his support behind Beskin. The seat

represents most of Buckhead.

Beskin claimed 49.9 percent of the 4,143 votes cast in the primary election and nearly won the nomination outright. John McCloskey received about 30 percent of the votes on May 20.

Bob Gibeling

Bob Gibeling

The winner will face Democrat Bob Gibeling and Independent Bill Bozarth in November.

Buckhead resident Bozarth was notified July 17 that both the Fulton County Board of Elections and the Georgia Secretary of State have certified his signature petition package qualifying him to run for the seat in the Nov. 4 general election.

It came three weeks after Bozarth’s campaign submitted the documents. His campaign collected more than 2,200 signatures, but was required to bring in only 1,776.
The seat had been held by Rep. Ed Lindsey, who did not seek re-election while running unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lindsey recently resigned the seat to take a post with a new state

committee studying transportation funding.

There is just one judicial runoff of importance to Buckhead residents. In the nonpartisan race for retiring Fulton County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Wright’s seat, Jane Barwick and Shelitha R. Robertson will square off.

Bill Bozarth

Bill Bozarth

In the District 11 U.S. House race, which represents only part of Buckhead, Republicans Bob Barr and Barry Loudermilk face off. Republican incumbent Phil Gingrey vacated the post to run for U.S. Senate. The winner will be unopposed in November.

Voters in both the Republican and Democratic runoff elections also will choose their party’s nominees for State School Superintendent.

Of his candidacy and his decision to run as an independent, GA House District 54 candidate Bozarth said, “I reject the concept that asks us to fall into partisan divisions when we choose elected leaders. Together with my supporters, we elected to do the hard work of gathering over 2,200 voter signatures to get on the ballot,” he added.

“I’ll go into office reporting directly to the people without a layer in between,” Bozarth stated. “Republicans even have to sign a loyalty oath to run in their primary. I would never do that. I’ll serve the people of my district free of obligation to party leaders and free of big donor money influence.”

Independent candidates in the General Assembly are rare in Georgia. There was only one, State Rep. Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville, on the 2012 ballot, the last election for state lawmakers.

Registered voters who did not vote in the Democratic Primary on May 20 may vote in the Republican runoff, according to the secretary of state’s office. Registered voters who did not vote in the Republican Primary may vote in the Democratic runoff.

If you have questions about your eligibility to vote or where to vote, go to www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.

Meanwhile, a judge has dismissed the May 20 Democratic primary election lawsuit District 7 Fulton County Commission (chairman) candidate Robb Pitts filed against fellow candidate John Eaves and Rick Barron, director of the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections.

William H. Ison, a retired Clayton County Superior Court judge appointed to the case because it required a non-Fulton judge because it would be a conflict of interest for a Fulton judge, dismissed the lawsuit July 17.

Eaves edged Pitts in the primary with 50.4 percent of the vote. Days after the election, Pitts asked for a recount, which was granted but confirmed Eaves as the winner. June 9, Pitts filed the lawsuit, claiming voters did not realize the District 7 election was also for the chairman’s seat.


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