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Candidates begin qualifying for 2018 election

Local Republican candidates Monday could officially begin qualifying for the upcoming June 2018 primaries.

Donna Horn, president of the Pike County Republican Party, said two races in particular are going to have a big impact on the county.

“I think the biggest two races everybody’s going to have their eyes on are the replacement of (Rep.) Alan Boothe, who is retiring (from the District 89 seat), and the replacement of Wes Allen as probate judge,” Horn said. “Those positions are both extremely important to Pike County. I think the candidates that have announced campaigns are qualified to hold those positions.”

Allen is leaving his role as probate judge to run for Boothe’s seat against current Troy City Council president Marcus Paramore.

Troy City Clerk Alton Starling and local attorney Michael Bunn have both announced intentions to run for probate judge.

Horn said only one candidate, Starling, had qualified with her Monday afternoon but noted that only candidates for probate judge, coroner and the Pike County Board of Education qualify with her.

“Everyone else including District and Circuit judges and House representatives have to qualify with the Birmingham office,” Horn said.

As of 4:20 p.m. Monday the Birmingham GOP had not released the names of any candidates that had qualified.

Horn said filling in the shoes of current Circuit Judge Tom Head and current District Judge Bill Hightower would be a tall task. While she said she isn’t familiar with candidates that have announced campaigns for circuit judge, as they all hail from Coffee County, she said the three candidates that have announced runs for district judge would be able to serve well in the role.

Sonny Reagan and Josh Wilson have both announced campaigns for judge of the 12th judicial circuit.

Steven Curtis, Virginia Green Nowling and January “Jana” Blair Ellis all announced runs last year for the district judge seat.

Circuit clerk Jamie Scarbrough has announced that she will run for reelection and Deb Fortune announced a run for the District 6 seat on the PCBOE.

Jerry Williams, president of the Pike County Democratic Party, said qualifying has not yet begun for local candidates.

“We can’t start until January 9 and we probably won’t before January 10 because we still have to get the paperwork in,” Williams said.

Even when qualifying starts, Williams said no potential Democratic candidates have announced campaigns.

All people that wish to run as candidates in any of the races have until February 9 at 5 p.m. to qualify. Horn said the deadline for candidates to qualify with the local party is 4:30 p.m. February 9 to give time for the paperwork to be sent to the Birmingham office.

Candidates must complete the qualification process to be eligible for the election. The primaries will be held June , 2018.