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      Qualifying begins for local races

      Qualifying for state and local elections began Monday. Several local politicians and hopefuls have already signed up to run for office.

      Dougherty County has the commission chair seat up for reelection and District TMs 2, 4, and 6. Those same districts are up for reelection on the school board. Lee County has two races"Districts 1 and 3 on the county commission.

      Political newcomers Ewell Lyle and Lonnie Smith qualified as republicans for Dougherty County Commission Districts 4 and 2, respectively. Chuck Lingle currently holds District 4, but is stepping down. Smith is running for the seat currently held by John Hayes.

      On the democratic side " current Dougherty County Chairman Jeff Sinyard and School Board member Milton Griffin qualified for reelection.

      Qualifying for democrats is at Local 2699 on Cordele Road. Republicans qualify at Albany Travel on Dawson Road. It lasts until noon on Friday.

      You fill out a very simple form. The fee depends on the particular office. For example, for school board it TMs $90 to run, said Republican Party Chairperson Karen Kemp.

      Democratic Chairperson Constance Burkes added, This is exciting. Anytime we have an election season where it TMs the governor TMs race or the presidential race it becomes hectic.

      Independent qualifying is June 28 to July 2. The primaries for all races will be held July 20.