4 qualify in race for Coomer’s seat
Four candidates qualified by the deadline Wednesday to seek the state House District 14 seat vacated by Christian Coomer.
A special election is scheduled for Dec. 18. On the ballot are:
• Ken Coomer, an Adairsville pastor and the father of Christian Coomer;
• Mitchell Scoggins, a retired Bartow County probate court judge;
• Nickie Leighly, a small business owner in Bartow County with seven young children; and
• Nathan Wilson, owner of Wilson Contracting Co. in Cartersville.
The district covers the southeast corner of Floyd County and the northern half of Bartow, with about two-thirds of the voters living in Bartow.
All four candidates qualified as Republicans.
Voters in the district must have registered by Nov. 27 in order to vote in the special election, which is aimed at trying to fill the seat before the Georgia General Assembly session starts at 10 a.m. on Jan. 14.
A candidate must pull more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright. If a run-off is necessary, it will be held Jan. 15.
Christian Coomer, a Republican, was unopposed for re-election but withdrew his name Oct. 31 when he was sworn in by Gov. Nathan Deal as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. It was too late to change the ballots for the Nov. 6 general election but votes for him were not counted.
The upcoming election is billed as a special Republican primary. Robert Brady, chief elections clerk for Floyd County, said state law requires a new primary since the single candidate did not make it to the general election.
Any registered voter in the district will be able to participate even if they didn’t vote in the earlier primary. Georgians don’t register by party, so those who chose a Democratic ballot in May are also free to vote in the upcoming Republican contest.