Politics

A Guide To Lesser Known Positions On The Ballot In November

The general election will be held Nov. 6.
The general election will be held Nov. 6.
Credit Andrew Harnik / Associated Press
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In November, Georgians will be voting on many statewide offices. While many are focused on the gubernatorial, attorney general and secretary of state races, the ballot will also include some lesser-known, but nonetheless, important positions.

Here’s a guide to those positions and who’s left in the running for them.

The general election will be held Nov. 6.

Related: General Election Guide: Registration, Early Voting And More >>

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. 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 basic duties of an insurance commissioner include consumer advocacy and insurance regulation, according to Ballotpedia.

Candidates:

  • Jim Beck (Republican)
  • Janice Laws (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 20-2-34. 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.

Candidates:

  • Otha E. Thornton, Jr. (Democrat)
  • Richard Woods (Republican, Incumbent)
  • Sonia Francis-Rolle (Write-in)

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.

Incumbent Mark Butler has served as commissioner since 2011, according to his bio.

Candidates:

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

Public Service Commission, District 3

The state’s Public Service Commission regulates utilities such as gas, electricity and telecommunications.

The biggest issue for the PSC in recent years has been the nuclear power expansion project at Plant Vogtle. It’s the only nuclear power construction project in the country, and the two new nuclear reactors are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. The PSC has oversight over Georgia Power’s spending on the Vogtle nuclear expansion.

The commission is made up of five commissioners, two of whom are up for re-election this year. Though the commissioners represent different parts of the state, they run statewide, so they’ll be on everyone’s ballots.

PSC, District 3

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 he was first elected in December 2006.

Candidates:

  • Chuck Eaton (Republican, Incumbent)
  • Lindy Miller (Democrat)
  • Ryan Graham (Libertarian)

PSC, District 5

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

Incumbent Tricia Pridemore was appointed to the commission by Gov. Nathan Deal in February 2018 to complete the term of former-commission chairman Stan Wise, who stepped down early.

Candidates:

  • Tricia Pridemore (Republican, Incumbent)
  • Dawn A. Randolph (Democrat)
  • John Turpish (Libertarian)

WABE reporter Molly Samuel contributed to this report. 

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