Qualifying week for county, state and federal offices brought some surprises and fulfilled some expectations as voters found out who will be on the ballot in the May 19 general primary election.
Two big pieces of news to come out of qualifying week, which ended at noon Friday, were that county Commissioner Tommy Hunter did not sign up to seek re-election while embattled Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader — who is awaiting a retrial on felony computer trespassing charges — is running for another four-year term on the bench.
Hunter found himself as the source of controversy shortly after his current term began in 2017 when Facebooks posts, in which he called U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig” and referred to Democrats as “demonrats” and “libtards” surfaced.
In recent weeks, Hunter had been on the fence about whether he would run again, saying “I really want to” at Chairwoman Charlotte Nash’s State of the County address in mid-February, but adding he and his wife were still discussing whether he should run again.
Since Hunter did not qualify, that means every county commission seat on this year’s ballot will be open.
Ultimately, five Democrats and three Republicans are running to replace Hunter. Qualifying ended at noon Friday.
Meanwhile, Schrader will have to face Gwinnett Magistrate Court Judge Deborah Fluker, as well as attorney and former Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz and attorneys B.T. Parker and Christa Kirk.
Schrader is set to go on trial again in late April, weeks before the nonpartisan judicial elections.
The only other Gwinnett Superior Court judge who picked up an opponent is Judge Randy Rich. He will face Lawrenceville-based attorney Tamela Adkins.
Superior Court judges Karen E. Beyers, Tadia Whitner, Ronnie Batchelor and Warren Davis are running unopposed for their respective seats on the bench.
The judicial elections are non-partisan and will therefore be wrapped up in the May 19 election.
Some of the other surprises that came out of qualifying week included: Jacqueline Tseng, who had campaigned for the 7th Congressional District seat, qualified as a Republican for county commission District 1, and Brooke Siskin, who had been campaigning for the open county commission chairman’s seat, qualified to run for the 9th Congressional District seat — which does not represent any part of Gwinnett.
Meanwhile, each party will have a contested primary race for Gwinnett County sheriff with four Democrats and two Republicans running for the seat.
In addition to qualifying for the May 19 primary, the state also held qualifying for the special election to fill the Senate seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, but that election will not be held until November.
Loeffler will face U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga.; Raphael Warnock; Derrick Grayson; Lilburn resident Annette Davis Jackson; A. Wayne Johnson; Kandiss Taylor; Deborah Jackson; Jamesia James; Tucker resident Tamara Johnson-Shealey; Matt Lieberman; Joy Felecia Slade; Ed Tarver; Richard Dien Winfield; Brian Slowinski; Al Bartell; Allen Buckley; Michael Todd Greene; Valencia Stovall; John “Green” Fortuin; and Rod Mack.