All three Bartow County School Board members who are up for re-election this year have opposition, and a former state school superintendent with ties to Bartow County is running for the top education office again.
The qualifying period for the offices closed Friday at noon, and the candidates in all four races will face off either in the May 22 primary or the Nov. 6 general election.
In District 1, incumbent John Howard of White will battle challenger Tony Ross of White in the Republican primary in May, and the winner will face Democrat Larry Slocum of Cartersville in the November election.
Howard, a mechanical engineer, was first elected to the school board in 2010 and currently serves as chairman.
Ross owns Tony Ross Renovations and previously worked for the city of Cartersville and in the law enforcement field.
Slocum is retired from the military.
For the District 2 seat, incumbent Dr. Davis Nelson of Cartersville and challenger Terry Lee Eggert of Cartersville will face off in the May 22 Republican primary.
Nelson, who was elected to his first term in 2010, is a former superintendent of Bartow County Schools, while Eggert is a consultant.
Democrat Willie Coombs will challenge Republican Derek Keeney of Cartersville, the incumbent, for the District 3 post in the November general election.
Keeney, who is seeking re-election to his second term, is an engineering manager, while Coombs is a pastor.
In the race for state school superintendent, Dr. John Barge has thrown his hat into the ring to try to regain the position he held from 2011 to 2015.
The current superintendent for McIntosh County resigned as state superintendent to run for governor, but he was defeated by Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 Republican primary.
Barge and one other Republican candidate, Dr. Sonia Francis-Rolle, will attempt to unseat incumbent Richard Woods in the Republican primary in May.
The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the three-candidate race in the Democratic primary — Otha E. Thornton Jr., Sam Mosteller and Dr. Sid Chapman — in the general election in November.
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