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Qualifying ends with no contested races

POSTED: March 9, 2018 12:33 p.m.

There will be no contested races on the May 22 primary ballot as qualifying closed at noon Friday with one candidate for each open seat.

Amy Murphy qualified Monday to run for chair of the Bryan County Schools Board of Education, while David Schwartz and Wade Price also qualified Monday to run for re-election to the school board and Bryan County Board of Commissioners, respectively.

On Tuesday, Marianne Smith qualified to run for re-election to the school board in District 4 and Brad Brookshire qualified to run for re-election as county commissioner in District 4. Pam Gunter also qualified to run for the school board in District 1. Gene Wallace qualified Wednesday to run for District 5 commissioner.

Murphy, who was re-elected to represent District 3 on the school board in 2016, had to resign that seat to run for chair. State law does not allow an elected official to seek another elected office while still serving. Eddie Warren, who has served as school board chair since 2006, announced last month he would not seek re-election.

Bryan County Elections Supervisor Cindy Reynolds said a special election — held in conjunction with the May 22 primary — will be held to fill the unexpired two years of Murphy’s term. Qualifying for that will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 14 and 15 and 9 a.m. to noon March 16.

Only one candidate, John Dunivan, has so far announced his intention to run for the seat.

Schwartz first ran for the school board in 2006 but lost in the primary. He was unopposed in 2010 and also when he was re-elected in 2014. He represents District 5.

Price, who represents District 2 on the county board, won a two-person primary in 2010 and was unopposed for re-election in 2014.

Brookshire won a special election in 2016 to fill an unexpired term. Carter Infinger, who was re-elected to the seat in 2014, stepped down to run for chairman. Smith was first elected to the school board in 2012 to fill an unexpired term and was unopposed for re-election in 2014.

This is the first run for office by both Gunter and Wallace. District 1 on the school board is currently held by two-term incumbent Paine Bacon. He did not announce that he would not seek re-election, nor did Rick Gardner, who represents District 5 on the county board.

The T-SPLOST measure will also appear on the May 22 ballot.

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