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Voters have only one option if they want to cast a ballot in a countywide contested race in the March primaries — Republican. No one has qualified for a local race as a Democrat.

Voters have only one option if they want to cast a ballot in a countywide contested race in the March primaries — Republican. No one has qualified for a local race as a Democrat.

Friday was the deadline for both Democrat and Republican candidates to qualify for the March 3 primaries where candidates will be on the same ballot as those running for president, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. The only contested race for a Tallapoosa County office is for Tallapoosa County Schools superintendent where Nancy Hatcher and Raymond Porter Jr. have qualified as Republicans. 

Neither is a stranger to county schools.Hatcher is currently director of personnel for Tallapoosa County Schools and Porter is principal at Reeltown Elementary School.

Both have already made considerable personal contributions to the campaigns already according to financial reports filed with the office of Alabama Secretary of State, coming up with the $2,411.29 qualifying fee for the Tallapoosa County Republican Party. In addition Porter has paid Best Sellers, a political consulting firm with an Arlington, Virginia address, $4,000 for services to help with his campaign.

Voters will see other races on the ballot for Tallapoosa County races in the Republican primary. Judge Kim Taylor is the incumbent Tallapoosa County District Judge. Eva Middlebrooks is the incumbent Tallapoosa County revenue commissioner. Both are running uncontested as a Republican. The Tallapoosa County Board of Education seat currently held by Betty Carol Graham will see Linda Daniel run uncontested as a Republican. Graham is not seeking reelection.

Tallapoosa County Republican Party chair Lee Hamilton said the county Republican candidates have another step before they are officially on the ballot.

“We have taken their applications,” Hamilton said. “We have a committee who will vet them at a meeting on Wednesday. We will pass along approved applications to the probate judge at that time.”

There is still a way for potential candidates who did not qualify through a political party to get on the November general election ballot by petitioning the Tallapoosa County probate judge for county races or the Alabama Secretary of State for state and federal races. According to Alabama Code 17-9-3 a person may obtain ballot access by submitting a petition before 5 p.m. the day of the statewide primary election. 

The petition must include signatures of at least 3% of the qualified voters who cast ballots for governor in the last general election in the political jurisdiction candidates are seeking election. There is no qualifying fee for independent candidates.

 

The primary election is March 3 with runoffs if needed March 31. The general election is Nov. 3

Voter registration deadlines are Feb. 17 for the primary, March 16 for the runoff and Oct. 19 to vote in the general election.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.