CAMILLA. Ga. — In Mitchell County, the three-way race for tax commissioner begins with Democratic incumbent Jackie B. Batchelor. She’s completing 21 years in the tax office and her second term as commissioner.
“Since I began my career with the county, I have kept two goals in mind: to work as hard as possible for the county and always strive to help the residents of Mitchell County with their tax and motor vehicle needs,” Batchelor said. “Today I still have those two goals in place.”
The tax commissioner said that during her time in office, her staff has implemented a website that keeps citizens informed and allows them to pay property and mobile home bills. According to Batchelor, the site also allows residents to renew their vehicle registration online. In addition, Batchelor said that since she took office, Mitchell County residents may now pay their vehicle, property and mobile home payments by credit card.
Republican Lynn Bufford has lived in Mitchell County all her life, graduated Pelham High School and knows everybody here, she said. Until recently, she worked as a clerk at the tax commissioner’s office and cites her seven years experience there as a qualification for her candidacy. She said she believes she could improve the office by making it more customer friendly.
“Customer service is number one,” Bufford said. “The people served in the tax office are not the happiest people to begin with.”
She also said her familiarity with commercial trucking gives her a leg up in the race.
“Here in Mitchell County, we have a lot of independent truckers and big trucking companies,” Bufford said. “I have a lot of experience as far as knowing what they need for their (particular) trucks.”
Tommy Sangster, another Democratic candidate for the office, is president of Camilla Loan Company Inc., which he says is a finance and income tax preparation business. According to Sangster, his 21 years as owner and manager of the business qualifies him for the tax commissioner position.
“My office has experience in filing vehicle registrations, and for the last 21 years I’ve done it myself,” he said. “For any candidate to say that I have no experience is simply not the facts.”
The race for coroner includes four candidates, all Democrats: Curtis Eidson of Pelham, Merrie Johnson of Camilla, and Jimmy Kolbie and Stedderick Thomas, both of Pelham.
In Mitchell County Commission races, District 4 Democratic incumbent Eugene “Bo” Curles defends his seat against Julius Hatcher, also a Democrat. In district 2, Democrats Eddie B. Cobb runs against incumbent B. Keith Jones. In District 5, Dan Bollinger and Gerald F. Hagan are squaring off in the Democratic primary to see which one challenges Republican David G. Sullivan in the General Election in November.
Unopposed candidates include Clerk of Court Adayna B. Broome, Chief Magistrate Randall E. Chew and Solicitor General Margaret Clair Chason, all of whom are Democrats. Incumbent Sheriff W.E Bozeman is unopposed in the Democratic primary. He will face Republican sheriff's candidate Bennie H. "Beech" Williams in the November general election.
On the nonpartisan ballot, incumbent Rick Waters is unopposed in the State Court Judge race, and incumbent Susan D. Taylor is unopposed for Probate Court judge.
Board of Education candidates include Norma Gilpatrick, At-Large District; Gregg Scott, District 1; Tholen Edwards, District 3, and Robert Scott, District 5. School Board candidates are nonpartisan, incumbent and unopposed.