Posted: Wednesday, August 28th 2013 at 6:20pm
Last day entries into Gainesville, Flowery Branch mayoral races
By Ken Stanford Staff
There were last day qualifiers for both the Gainesville and Flowery Branch mayoral races Wednesday.
Gainesville businesswoman Debra Harkrider, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the city council seat held by Bob Hamrick two years ago, qualified for for the mayor's race, and in Flowery Branch, Shanon Lutz, wife of outgoing Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz joined the mayor's race.
Qualifying for the Nov. 5 elections closed Wednesday in Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Lula. Candidates have through Friday to sign up in Clermont and Gillsville, the other two municipalities in Hall County.
Harkeider is joining Danny Dunagan, who stepped down from the city council and mayor's post earlier this month to run for mayor; political newcomer Charles Alverez; and Rose Johnson, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for a Gainesville city council seat several years ago in the quest for the mayor's post.
Because of a recent change in the city charter, Gainesville voters will be electing the mayor themselves instead of the post rotating among city council members.
Qualifying for the city council in Gainesville were Sam Couvillion, who is running for the Ward 1 seat which Dunagan vacated, and Pablo Picazo, who qualified at the last minute for the Ward 1 race, as well. Longtime Ward 4 councilman George Wangemann also picked up last-minute opposition Wednesday from Albert Reeves.
Two seats on the Gainesville Board of Education will be voted on this year - those for District 1 and District 4. Incumbent Delores Diaz qualified to seek re-election to her District 1 post and Brett Mercer signed up to run for the District 4 seat.
In addition to the mayor's race, there will be two contested city council races in Flowery Branch. Post 3 incumbent Fred Richards picked up opposition from Ed Edwards. Post 5 incumbent Tara Richards will face former councilman Chris Fetterman.
In Oakwood and Lula, only the incumbents qualified for positions to be voted on in November.
Longtime Oakwood Mayor Lamar Scroggs qualified to seek another term; Sam Evans signed-up for another hitch on the city council, representing Post 1; and councilman Ron McFarland qualified for the Post 2 seat.
In Lula, Milton Turner is seeking another term as mayor and council members Vickey Chambers and Mordecai Wilson qualified to run for re-election.
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