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Qualifying for this year's elections begins next week with 12 candidates expected to enter Central Georgia's four congressional races.

Two of the midstate's congressional districts are in Bibb County.

Moreover, if all announced candidates qualify, there'll be two Rick Allen's vying for congressional seats in the area.

Prior to reaportionment, the 8th District included all of Bibb County. But not anymore.

The 8th District now covers Republican-rich north Bibb County, while the 2nd District moves into heavily Democratic east Bibb County.

Tift County Republican Austin Scott holds the 8th District seat. Scott doesn't have announced opposition.

Other Central Georgia counties in the 8th District include Monroe, Jones, Twiggs and Houston.

Columbus Democrat Sanford Bishop holds the 2nd District seat. Bishop held the seat in the 1990's when the district came into east Bibb County.

Other counties now in the 2nd District include Crawford, Peach and Taylor.

Bishop doesn't have announced Democratic opposition. But three Republicans are seeking the post, including Columbus businessman Rick Allen.

The other GOP candidates are retired Army Col. John House of Columbus and educator and pastor Ken DeLoach of Warner Robins.

The realigned 10th District includes all of Baldwin County, Putnam, Hancock and Washington counties. It's represented by Paul Broun, who faces primary opposition from Milledgeville native Stephen Simpson, a businessman and retired Army colonel.

There aren't announced Democrats for the post.

August Democrat John Barrow holds the 12th District seat, which includes Laurens, Treutlen and Wheeler counties.

Barrow doesn't have announced Democratic opposition. But three Republicans plan to seek the position. Included in that group is the second Rick Allen, an Augusta businessman.

The other GOP candidates are state Rep. Lee Anderson of Columbia County and Wright McLeod, an Augusta real estate attorney.

Congressional candidates qualify at the state Capitol in Atlanta. Their qualifying fee is $5,220.

Qualifying will be from nine to five on Wednesday and Thursday and from nine until noon Friday.

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