Nine Central Ga. statehouse seats up for grabs

Central Georgia voters are scheduled to settle nine races for the General Assembly this year.

Qualifying for state posts ended at noon Friday.

This year, there are races for six state house seats and three state senate seats in Central Georgia.

Representatives Nikki Randall, James Beverly, Bubber Epps, Willie Talton, Buddy Harden and Jimmy Pruett all face challengers.

Senator David Lucas also will meet a familiar face, and two open Senate seats are up for grabs.

Here are the races:

House District 142: Gerald Harvey of Macon qualified to run against incumbent Nikki Randall. They're both Democrats. Harvey is a former Macon city council member who ran against Randall in 2012. He says he is retired. The district covers parts of Bibb County. The two will meet in the May 20 Democratic primary.

House District 143: Incumbent James Beverly and former Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards will meet in the May 20 Democratic primary. Edwards is a lawyer and minister. Beverly, an eye doctor, is seeking a third term. The district covers parts of Bibb County.

House District 144: A Toomsboro woman plans to challenge state Rep. Bubber Epps of Twiggs County. Joyce Denson is a Democrat. Epps is a former Democrat who switched to the Republican Party four years ago. Denson describes herself as a site coordinator. They're both qualified for the November general election ballot. The district includes Twiggs, Wilkinson and Bleckley counties and parts of Jones, Bibb, Houston and Laurens counties.

House District 147: Software engineer Heath Clark is challenging state Rep. Willie Talton. Both men are Republicans from Warner Robins. Talton, a former Houston County sheriff's deputy, is seeking a sixth term. The district covers part of Houston County.

House District 148: Randy Head, a Hawkinsville businessman, is challenging incumbent Buddy Harden. Both men are Republicans. Harden, a pharmacist from Cordele, is seeking a fourth term. The district includes Wilcox, Pulaski and part of Houston counties.

House District 149: John Clements, a horse rancher and exporter, qualified to run against state representative Jimmy Pruett. Both men are Republicans from Eastman. The district includes Dodge, Telfair, Wheeler and part of Laurens counties. Harden is seeking a fifth term.

Senate District 13: Two Republicans have qualified to run for incumbent John Crosby's seat. Crosby, a Republican from Tifton, is retiring. The candidates are Bryce Johnson, a prosecutor from Tifton, and Americus businessman Greg Kirk. District 13 includes Dodge, Wilcox and Dooly counties.

Senate District 18: Two candidates qualified: John F. Kennedy, a Macon attorney, and Spencer Price, a doctor from Yatesville. Both are Republicans. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, is leaving the Senate after his current term. The district includes Monroe, Crawford, Peach, part of Bibb and part of Houston counties.

Senate District 26: Former state senator and Macon city council president Miriam Paris qualified to challenge state Sen. David Lucas. Both are Democrats from Macon. Paris defeated Lucas for the District 26 seat in 2011, then Lucas defeated her in 2012. Both races were decided in runoffs. Senate District 26, includes Hancock, Washington, Wilkinson, Twiggs, part of Jones, part of Bibb, part of Houston.

Republican and Democratic primaries are May 20; the general election is Nov. 4.


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