New candidate emerges in District 6 race

Several also qualify for commission races

pramati@macon.comJuly 23, 2013 

A new candidate in the District 6 commission race qualified Tuesday afternoon for the Sept. 17 nonpartisan special election to choose the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government.

Chhor Chav, a 36-year-old sheet metal mechanic, is running for the District 6 commission seat against Robert Abbott, Ed DeFore and Adah Roberts. According to Chav’s notice of candidacy, he has lived within the district for a month.

With the exception of two candidates who withdrew from their races, all the candidates who had previously qualified to run for office last April have since re-qualified through Tuesday. Reopening qualifying was necessary after the special election date was postponed from July 16 to Sept. 17.

Qualifying closes at noon Wednesday at the Bibb County Board of Elections office, 2445 Pio Nono Ave., in Macon. It costs $3,000 to qualify for the mayor’s race and $450 to qualify for a commission seat.

While the majority of candidates who had previously announced they were running for office qualified on Monday, several showed up Tuesday to update their paperwork, including mayoral candidates Charlie Bishop and Sam Hart.

Bishop and Hart join a crowded mayoral field that includes Robert Reichert, C. Jack Ellis, Joe Allen and David Cousino. In addition, the board of elections has certified Anthony Harris as a write-in candidate for mayor.

Candidates who have qualified for a commission seat are: Gary Bechtel (District 1); Henry Ficklin, Larry Schlesinger and Paul Bronson (District 2); Elaine Lucas and Terry Tripp (District 3); Mallory Jones III, Beverly Olson and Theron Ussery (District 4); Bert Bivins III, Louis Frank Tompkins and Jon Carson (District 5); Eric Arnold, Barry Bell and Scotty Shepherd (District 7); Charles Jones, Virgil Watkins and Regina Davis (District 8); and James Timley and Al Tillman (District 9).

Candidates who had qualified in April had to qualify again when the date of the special election was pushed back to Sept. 17. The date change was necessary because the U.S. Department of Justice hadn’t made a decision on preclearance for the July special election, something that was necessary under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

However, a U.S. Supreme Court decision last month overturned part of the act, making preclearance moot.

There was not enough time to hold July elections, and the county’s elections board voted for a Sept. 17 election date.

If any runoffs are necessary, they will take place Oct. 15. The deadline to register to vote in the September elections is Aug. 19, with early voting to be held from Aug. 26 to Sept. 13.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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