George Pullen, a former Rome city commissioner, announced his intentions to a group of supporters outside City Hall before heading to the state Capitol to qualify as a Democratic candidate for the 52nd District seat held by state Sen. Preston Smith, R-Rome.
Smith qualified Monday to run for re-election. Marilyn Anderson, a local teacher, said she planned to qualify as a Democrat for the post today.
Meanwhile, Mark Hufstetler, who represents the Model and Johnson communities on the Floyd County Board of Education, switched parties to qualify for re-election as a Republican.
“I’m not mad at anybody,” Hufstetler said. “But Proverbs 29:18 says ‘where there’s no vision the people perish’ and, right now, on the local, national and state level, the Republicans seem like they have the vision.”
Hufstetler ran as a Democrat in two previous elections but has worked on the campaigns of his Republican brother, Floyd County Commission Chairman Chuck Hufstetler.
“I always say vote for the person, not the party,” the school board candidate said. “It won’t change anything because we have a very bipartisan board.”
None of the three school board members up for re-election have opposition at this time. Qualifying ends Friday at noon.
In the Floyd County sheriff race, Steve Hulsey and Rickey Agan qualified Wednesday with Keith Howell, chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party. Agan and Hulsey will battle in the July 20 primary for the party’s nomination.
Tim Burkhalter also qualified for the sheriff’s race on Wednesday, to challenge incumbent Sheriff Tommy Rickman for the Democratic nomination.
The primary winners will face off in the Nov. 2 general election.
Jack Niedrach, chairman of the Floyd County Democratic Party, said two other local candidates qualified with him on Wednesday.
Former state Sen. Richard Marable became an official candidate to replace Chief Magistrate Jerry Wood, and Bryan Shealy will seek re-election to the Floyd County Board of Education representing the Coosa community. School Board Chairman George Bevels, also a Democrat, qualified Monday.
At the Capitol, state Rep. E.M. “Buddy” Childers, D-Floyd County, qualified to run for re-election to the District 14 seat, and state Rep. Bill Cummings, D-Rockmart, signed up to seek another term in the District 16 slot.
Rome Circuit Superior Court Judge J. Bryant Durham Jr. also qualified for re-election on Wednesday, and Albany attorney James Finkelstein threw his hat in the rapidly filling ring as a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate