Qualifying for local elections winding down

Those officially qualified to run with the Dougherty County Elections office are Republicans Lonnie Smith, who is running for the county commission seat currently held by John Hayes and Ewell Lyle, who is, so far, the only candidate to qualify for Commissioner Chuck Lingle's seat, who is retiring when his term expires in December.

For school board, Joyce Weaver and Donnie Smith have qualified to run for the District 2 spot held by Michael Windom. Windom will not be running for reelection to that post.

Others have announced their intentions to run for county office, including businessmen Darrell Ealum, who is running for Windom's seat, and Richard Thomas, who is running for County Commission District 6, which is held by longtime commissioner Jack Stone.

Carol Tharin is also set to run for Emily Jean McAfee's board of education seat, which she is vacating this year.

County races are partisan and each party is responsible for getting information to the Dougherty County Elections office before the deadline. That office has yet to receive any paperwork officially from the Democratic Party, officials say.