Politics

Election Guide: Ga. Superintendent, Commissioner Of Labor And More

Georgia's primaries will be May 22. Runoffs will be July 24, and the general election will be Nov. 6. 
Georgia's primaries will be May 22. Runoffs will be July 24, and the general election will be Nov. 6. 
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press file
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It’s election season, and while many are focused on the gubernatorial, attorney general and secretary of state races, Georgians also will be voting for some other important offices.

Here’s a guide to those statewide positions and who’s running for them.

Georgia’s primaries will be May 22. Runoffs will be July 24, and the general election will be Nov. 6.

Commissioner Of Agriculture 

Georgia’s Department of Agriculture regulates the agriculture industry while protecting and promoting its interests and the interests of consumers, according to its website. The commissioner manages more than 650 employees and has a term of four years.

Incumbent Gary Black is currently serving his second term, according to his bio.

Candidates:

  • Gary Black (Republican, Incumbent)
  • Fred Swann (Democrat)

Commissioner Of Insurance 

The insurance commissioner regulates Georgia’s insurance industry. Incumbent Ralph T. Hudgens, who is also Georgia’s safety fire and industrial loan commissioner, is not seeking re-election. He has served as insurance commissioner since 2010.

Candidates:

  • Jim Beck (Republican)
  • Jay Florence (Republican)
  • Tracy Jordan (Republican)
  • Janice Laws (Democrat)
  • Cindy Zeldin (Democrat)
  • Donnie Foster (Libertarian)*

State School Superintendent

The state school superintendent enforces regulations from Georgia’s Board of Education and the laws governing schools that are given state aid, according to Georgia Code 20-2-32. The superintendent also makes recommendations regarding public schools’ “welfare and efficiency” to the board from time to time and has the authority to suspend a county superintendent for misconduct or incompetency.

The superintendent serves a four-year term.

Candidates:

  • John Barge (Republican)
  • Sid Chapman (Democrat)
  • Sam Mosteller (Democrat)
  • Otha E. Thornton Jr. (Democrat)
  • Richard Woods (Republican, Incumbent)

Commissioner of Labor

Georgia’s Department of Labor provides unemployment services, workforce information and oversees child labor issues, according to its website. The commissioner leads around 2,000 employees and serves a term of four years.

Incumbent Mark Butler has served as commissioner for seven years, according to his bio.

Candidates:

  • Mark Butler (Republican, Incumbent)
  • Richard Keatley (Democrat)
  • Fred Quinn (Democrat)

Public Service Commission, District 3

The state’s Public Service Commission regulates essential utilities such as gas, electricity and telecommunications, according to its website. Five commissioners, supported by approximately 83 members of staff, serve six-year terms.

District 3 covers a small part of Georgia, including the counties of DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton and Rockdale. Incumbent Chuck Eaton has been in office since December 2006, according to his bio.

Candidates:

  • Chuck Eaton (Republican, Incumbent)
  • Lindy Miller (Democrat)
  • John Noel (Democrat)
  • Johnny C. White (Democrat)
  • Ryan Graham (Libertarian)*

Public Service Commission, District 5

District 5 of the state’s Public Service Commission covers part of western Georgia.

Incumbent Tricia Pridemore was appointed to the commission by Gov. Nathan Deal in February 2018 to complete the term of Stan Wise, who stepped down early, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Candidates:

  • John Hitchins III (Republican)
  • Tricia Pridemore (Republican, Incumbent)
  • Dawn A. Randolph (Democrat)
  • Doug Stoner (Democrat)
  • John Turpish (Libertarian)*

*Correction: An earlier version of this article did not show the Libertarian candidates, who will not appear on the ballots for the May 22 primary elections. This report has also been updated to correct the number of terms Gary W. Black has served as the Commissioner of Agriculture.