UPDATE: After qualifying wrapped up, Principal Scott Hendrix (already set to retire at academic year’s end) pulled his name for contention for the District 3 School Board race. This article has been updated to reflect that change.

Not a single Democrat will be on the state or local ballot for office seekers in Polk County as qualifying wrapped up at noon and races were set for the May primaries.

The all-GOP ballot will feature two contested school board races, two contested county commission races, the coroner and surveyor’s offices as multiple candidates qualified ahead of the deadline at the lunch hour.

No matter what happens, the Board of Education is getting three new members once the May primary concludes. CHS Principal Scott Hendrix retiring at the end of the school year is qualified for the District 3 board seat along with Rita Carter to take over for JP Foster, who is coming off the board after an 8 year term and stint as Chair. The District 3 School Board seat currently held by JP Foster will at year’s end be filled by Rita Carter. Initially Principal Scott Hendrix had signed up and it was a contested race, but he withdrew his name from the ballot this afternoon once he learned Mrs. Carter had signed up to run.

Foster wraps up an 8-year run on the school board including time as the board chair.

Joining Foster in a departure is Chris Culver, who will be coming off a year’s end as well and will be replaced by either Paul “Drew” Williams Jr. or Christina Robinson who are running for the District 6 seat after they qualified ahead of today’s deadline.

Both of those seats were open through the entire week.

The District 5 school board race set earlier in the week when Greg Teems and Jeff Hawkins qualified remains with the two candidates, one of which will replace Kristy Gober when her term expires at year’s end.

The County Commission District 3 race also got a third candidate for office. Ray Carter now faces John Paschal and Billy “Butch” Garrett on the 2024 ballot. Garrett qualified today ahead of the deadline. Paschal entered the race on Thursday.

Jordan Hubbard after his appointment will run to keep his seat in a four-way race for the District 1 primary. He faces Michael Gravett, Deborah Connelly and James Vines in the race for a new four-year term starting in 2025.

The District 2 race in the seat held by Chuck Thaxton will go unopposed this year as Thaxton will move onto a new four year term in office.

The other two contested races for the ballot this year is the coroner’s office between incumbent Norman Smith and challenger Nathan Womack, and the surveyor’s race between Robert Cannon and Nick Rainey.

All the other races that were up this year for local offices: Sheriff, Superior Court Judges and Clerk, Chief Magistrate Judge, Tax Commissioner, District Attorney, State Representative for District 16 and State Senator for District 31 are all unopposed this year.

State Rep. Trey Kelley and State Sen. Jason Anavitarte qualified with no opposition for their seats.

A new District Attorney will be sat come January 1 as Chief Assistant District Attorney Jaeson Smith will replace DA Jack Browning, who is set to retire after three terms in office.

Superior Court Judges Mark Murphy and Andrew Roper will continue in their roles on the bench, and Superior Court Clerk Stacie Baines will continue on in her job as well.

New Chief Magistrate Judge Christy Cook Garner will begin in her role at year’s end as Judge Jean Crane is set to come out of her role after decades serving in one capacity or another on the bench. Garner will start in January, but Crane will be helping out following the start of 2025.

Probate Judge Bobby Brooks secured a new term in office after he was elected in a special election in 2022, Sheriff Johnny Moats will retain his head law enforcement role for a new term, and Tax Commissioner Amanda Lindsey will keep her job as well.

The ballot did not change any for the U.S. House primaries coming up on the same May ballot. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene faces no GOP primary challenge this year, but she’ll face one of four democratic challengers in the fall.

Clarence Blalock of Hiram, Deric Houston of Dallas, Joseph Leigh of Catoosa County and Retired Gen. Shawn Harris are all working to defeat Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in November, but first will face each other in the May primary.

Check back for more Vote 2024 coverage as it becomes available.

Leave a comment

Please Login to Comment.