Two days into filing for 2020 elections, Sheriff is only contested race

All but one GOP candidate who has qualified for the 2020 ballot is an incumbent - Registrar's office unable to provide information on any independent or Democratic candidates

As the five-day filing period for the 2020 General Election and primary heads into its second day, a majority of incumbents have qualified with the Stephens County GOP (Republican Party).


Monday, March 2, was the first day candidates were able to qualify and file to have their names included on the ballots for the May primary and/or Nov. general election. Friday, March 6 at noon is the deadline for filing.


Under state and local election laws and regulations, The Stephens County GOP is conducting qualifying for Republican Candidates. A SCGOP representative is available at First Citizens Bank in downtown Toccoa for candidates to pay the qualifying fee and fill out the necessary forms. Under election rules, the qualifying fee associated with each office is divided between the Stephens County Registrar’s office and the political party organization – in this case, the SCGOP – when the party conducts qualifying.


Local political parties have the choice whether to conduct qualifying for elections, or to request the county registrar’s office to conduct qualifying for the party’s candidates. For the 2020 election season, the Stephens County Registrar’s office will conduct qualifying for Democratic candidates, as the local Democratic Party organization is not conducting qualifying. The Registrar’s office will retain the full qualifying fee for any candidate who qualifies directly through them.


The Registrar’s Office always conducts qualifying for independent candidates.


Candidates who qualify through the SCGOP are considered to have officially filed as a candidate; however, the Secretary of States online listing of candidates is not updated until the Registrar’s office verifies the forms and paperwork given to them by the GOP at the end of each day and submits the names to the Secretary of State’s office.


ConnectLocal.News spoke with the Stephens County Registrar's office yesterday, March 3, to obtain names of any independent, non-partisan or Democrat candidates that have filed for the upcoming election, but was told that they did not have that information available.


ConnectLocal.News will update this story as new information becomes available.


The following candidates qualified with the SCGOP on Monday, March 2:

Stephens County Commissioner Post 3 Dennis Bell (incumbent)

Stephens County Commissioner Post 2 Debbie Whitlock (incumbent)

Stephens County Clerk of Court – Tim Quick (incumbent)

Stephens County Tax Commissioner - Dene Hicks (incumbent)

Stephens County Coroner - Chris Stephens (incumbent)

Stephens County State Court Solicitor - Ann Pickett (incumbent)

Stephens County Sheriff - Randy Shirley (incumbent)

Stephens County Sheriff - Rusty Fulbright


The following candidates qualified with the SCGOP on Tuesday, March 3:

SCBOE District 3 post 2 - Mark Smith


(Source: Stephens County GOP Chair Rebeckah Bennett)

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