Be informed about local election

Published 5:00 pm Monday, March 9, 2020

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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated the Troup County Judge of Probate Court was an unopposed race. The article has been updated to reflect Leslie Jones has qualified as a candidate.  A previous version of this article stated the there was no Democratic challenger for the District 4 Troup County Commission seat. The article has been updated to reflect Yvonne Lopez has qualified as a democratic candidate.

few months ago, we wrote an editorial about the lack of choices for voters at the ballot box, bemoaning the fact that several key positions were unopposed.

Well, we can’t say that about the upcoming Troup County elections. If you’re hoping to keep up with it — and we hope you are — then you might want to get a pen and paper for notes. Actually, grab a couple pieces of paper.

We wrote extensively about all of these races on the weekend edition front page, so we won’t bore you by going into as deep of detail, but man, for any political junky, this looks like it’s going to be fun. It is a loaded ballot from top to bottom.

The Troup County School Board seats figure to be as talked about as any on the ballot, especially with the senior tax-relief group, now known as TRACER, promoting their four candidates via social media and elsewhere. The group should be commended for what they’ve accomplished to this point, as they have come together to start a real conversation on an issue that many feel strongly about.

They encouraged the school board to pass a resolution to reduce school-related senior property taxes (even if it wasn’t everything they wanted), and now they’ve produced four candidates they believe can, and will, get elected to the school board.

Regardless of whether you agree with their positions, the group has gotten involved instead of just logging onto Facebook and complaining (although they admittedly do that too). They’ve spoken loudly, and they are attempting to make a difference in our community.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the three races against incumbents turn out. TRACER-endorsed candidate Nick Simpson will go against Brandon Brooks in District 3 and TRACER candidate Tommy Callaway will go against Cathy Hunt in District 5.

District 2 will have a new representative, as Kirk Hancock has elected not to run again. TRACER-endorsed Frank Barnes will face off with Ferrell Blair in that race. Hancock currently serves as board chairman, and the school board will greatly miss him. As chairman, he’s essentially served as the board’s spokesman to the public, and we believe he’s served well in that role. He’s got nine months before he leaves the board, but when he does, the new board will do well to keep his number for advice as they move forward. 

In District 6, incumbent Joe Franklin will go against former Troup County Commissioner Tripp Foster. Foster ran for Troup County Commission Chair two years ago and was decisively defeated, but that means little this time around, as only registered voters of District 6 will determine the election.

The three Troup County Commission races are also all contested.

In District 2, incumbent Ellis Cadenhead will face Ken Ragan in the Republican primary. Andrew Moody is running as a Democrat and will face the winner in November.

In District 3, Synda Ogletree and Cora Pleasant will face off in the Democratic primary, with the winner facing incumbent Lewis Davis in November.

In District 4, incumbent Morris Jones will face former Probate Judge Donald Boyd in the Republican primary. The Democratic challenger is Yvonne Lopez. 

The race for sheriff also has three candidates. Incumbent James Woodruff will face Jeremy Bolt in the Republican primary, with the winner facing Ricky Ward in the Democratic primary.

Other contested races include judge of state court, where Luther Jones, Wesley Leonard and Kyle Lovejoy will face off, and coroner, where Troup County Deputy Coroner Erin Hackley and Brandon Adams are the candidates. 

The Probate Judge’s race features incumbent Debbie Wade running for reelection against Leslie Jones, who lists her occupation as an insurance agent.

Three races will be unopposed — clerk of superior court, tax commissioner and solicitor general.

There are more than two months until the May 19 primary, but early voting will start almost a month before that, so there’s going to be a lot of political talk throughout the next few months.

Our recommendation is to pay attention, talk to candidates in your district and figure out who comes closest to the values you hold important. Make sure you know which candidates are in your district. The easiest way to get that voter information is to log on to and fill out your information.

These races will determine the majority of the school board, as four of seven seats are up for grabs, and more than half of the county commission with three seats up for election. Obviously, it’s pretty important who the sheriff and state court judges are as well.  All of these jobs are important.

Take the time now to get to know your candidates, know their values and study up so you can make an informed decision at the ballot box in a few weeks. Time will pass by quickly, so do your part, so when the time comes, you can make the best choice for you, your family and this community.