July 31 Primary: What's on the Ballot?
During Tuesday's primary elections, Cobb residents will cast party ballots for commission and school board seats, state senators and representatives, a sales tax increase for transportation projects and much more.
As far as local government is concerned, it seems that Tuesday’s primary elections in Cobb will carry far more weight than the general election in November.
All three Board of Commissioners races have only one party represented, while there is a lone Democrat-Republican battle in four Board of Education contests. In all likelihood, the races with single parties will be decided by the primaries, and with only one person to check in November, the general election ballot becomes a formality for those posts.
Also, the regionally significant and hotly debated TSPLOST, which would raise sales taxes for 10 years by 1 percent for metro Atlanta transportation projects, will finally be decided on by voters.
There’s also the little-discussed revote on Sunday alcohol sales in unincorporated Cobb, which, if the last vote of nearly 70 percent in favor is an indicator, will probably pass in its second go-round.
Commissioner Bob Ott, a Republican, is running unopposed for District 2 (East Cobb, Smyrna and Vinings) on the board.
For District 4 (Southwest Cobb), voters will see their only chance to cast their ballots for a Democrat commissioner—but now no Republicans. The contenders are Lisa Cupid, the facilitator of the Austell Community Taskforce Partnership and a law and public administration student; community volunteer Monica DeLancy; Ruth Negron, who served as an assistant to former District 4 Commissioner Annette Kesting; Michael Rhett, a retired member of the U.S. Air Force; real estate broker Connie Taylor; and incumbent and real estate broker Woody Thompson.
Moving on to the county Board of Education, the odd-numbered posts are up for grabs.
Since Post 1 (Northwest Cobb) board member Lynnda Eagle isn’t seeking re-election, it appears that Republican Randy Scamihorn, who became a teacher after retiring from the military, will be victorious since he’s running unopposed.
Post 3 (South Cobb) features no GOP contenders and three Democrats: Bobby Allen, an adjunct business professor at Shorter University and an instructional coach with Atlanta Public Schools; realtor Karyn Harrison; and incumbent David Morgan.
Conversely, Post 5 (Northeast Cobb) will see a battle between no Democrats and three Republicans: incumbent David Banks; Lisa Hanson, who has worked in consulting, account management and marketing; and Stephanie Henry, who has worked in retail management for KB Toys and Old Navy.
Featuring candidates from both parties, Post 7 (West Cobb) is the only race that could go on either side of the political aisle. Incumbent Alison Bartlett is the lone Democrat, and with no competition from her party, will likely move to the November ballot.
Challenging her in the fall will be one of three Republicans: general contractor Larry Darnell; Heather Ryan, who co-founded Southryan’s Surgical Group; and retired teacher/coach Brad Wheeler.
The county sheriff race will also feature party options: Republican incumbent Neil Warren, and Democrat Gregory Gilstrap, an employee of the Morehouse College Police Department who has challenged Warren in the two prior elections.
Other contests in the primaries include state senators and representatives, U.S. reps, Public Services Commission seats, one City Council and one school board election just for Marietta, and a slew of judges.
The polls are closed today and open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you don’t know what precinct to go to, you can check the “My Voter Page” online.
Sample ballots are attached. Come back to Patch on Tuesday for election updates and final tallies.
What race is most important to you and why? Tell us in the comments.