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The new year brings a new political season that's loaded with candidates for state and federal elections.

With U.S.Sen. Saxby Chambliss retiring, nine Republicans and five Democrats have announced they'll seek the position.

The crowded Republican field consists of former Secretary of State Karen Handel, congressmen Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue.

Political newcomers Derrick Grayson, Eugene Yu, Art Gardner and Randy Asman are also seeking the Republican nomination.

On the Democratic side, Michele Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, and former state Sen. Steen Miles are running for the position. Other Democrats include Branko Radulovacke, Todd Robinson and John Cayne.

Meanwhile, four people want to become Georgia's next governor. The three Republican hopefuls are incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal, state school superintendent John Barge and Dalton Mayor David Pennington.

Jason Carter, a Democratic state senator, is running for governor. Carter is a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.

So far, two people have announced they seek the lieutenant governor's office. They are Republican incumbent Casey Cagle and former democratic state Sen. Steen Miles. If it stays the same, they'll meet in the November general election.

In the District 2 congressional contest, Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop doesn't have announced party opposition. But former Lee County school board member Greg Duke is seeking the Republican nomination for the position.

Congressman Austin Scott doesn't have announced opposition for the 8th District seat.

Congressional districts two and eight come into Bibb County. District 2 covers east Bibb and District 8 covers west Bibb.

The 10th congressional district, which includes Baldwin and Putnam counties, has six Republicans and two Democrats in the hunt. The GOP field includes Jody Hice, a minister and radio talk show host; Jackson trucking executive Mike Collins, son of former congressman Mac Collins, state Rep. Donna Sheldon; businessman Steve Simpson; attorney Gary Gerrard and former Columbia County GOP chairman Brian Slawinski.

The Democrats are attorney Ken Dious and former state Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond.

Democratic incumbent John Barrow doesn't have announced party opposition for Georgia's 12th congressional district seat. But two Republicans, John Stone and Rick Allen, are seeking the position.

The 12th District includes Augusta and Laurens County. Stone, originally from Augusta, has recently served as chief of staff for Texas Congressman John Carter. Rick Allen owns a construction company in Augusta.

In local state elections, Republican Sen. Cecil Staton faces Macon attorney John Kennedy and Thomaston doctor Spencer Price for the District 18 seat. There aren't any announced Democratic candidates for the position.

District 18 includes parts of Bibb and Houston counties.

Incumbent Democrat David Lucas is being challenged by Miriam Paris for the Senate District 26 seat. Paris won the seat in a non-partisan election to fill the late Sen. Robert Brown's unexpired term.

But Lucas unseat Paris in last year's partisan election.

District 26 covers east Bibb County and includes Twiggs and Hancock counties.

Republican state Sen. Burt Jones doesn't have opposition in the race for the District 25 seat. District 25 comes into north Bibb County. It also includes Baldwin and Jasper counties.

In the local state House races, Republican representatives Robert Dickey and Bubber Epps don't have opposition for their seats. Dickey has the District 140 seat, and Epps is the District 144 representative.

Republican Rep. Allen Peake is being challenged by political newcomer Brad Moriarty for the District 141 position. Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Nikki Randall will face former Macon councilman Gerald Harvey in the Democratic primary for the District 142 seat..

At present, Rep. James Beverly is unopposed in the Democratic primary for the District 143 seat. But former Bibb Commissioner Lonzy Edwards said he's looking at his options for continuing public service. He said he has the District 143 seat under consideration.

There aren't any Republicans in the District 142 and 143 contests.

Qualifying for federal and state offices is scheduled for March 3. The primary election is slated for May 20 and the primary runoffs will be held July 22. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.

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