CANTON — The race to fill the state Senate seat being vacated by Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) will see no shortage of competition.
Six candidates, three from Cherokee County and three from Bartow, made their candidacy official before qualifying ended Wednesday for the Nov. 5 election to fill Loudermilk’s District 14 seat, said Cody Whitlock, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office.
Loudermilk resigned earlier this month to clear the way for his bid for the 11th District congressional seat now held by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta.) The seat covers large parts of Cherokee and Bartow and a small piece of Cobb.
The Cherokee County contenders in the special election are Dwight Pullen, 53, of Canton, Nicole Ebbeskotte, 42, of Woodstock, and Dean Sheridan, 51, of Acworth.
Bartow County is represented by candidates Christopher G. Nesmith, 42, of Adairsville, Bruce Thompson, 48, of White, and Matt Laughridge, 25, of Cartersville, Whitlock said.
Although the special election will be non-partisan with no party primaries, the candidates gave the Secretary of State’s Office their party affiliation, which will be listed on the ballot in the Nov. 5 race. Whitlock said all the candidates signed on as Republicans, except Nesmith, who is a Democrat.
Cherokee County Supervisor of Elections and Registration Janet Munda said, considering the crowded pool of six candidates, the possibly of the need for a runoff election is greater in the race for Loudermilk’s seat.
For a runoff to be avoided, Munda said one candidate must pull in at least 51 percent of the votes. If none of the contenders accomplish that feat, a runoff could be scheduled Dec. 2.
Those wishing to cast their ballot in the race will only have to wait until Oct. 14, when early voting starts, Munda said. The deadline to register to vote in the election in both early voting or on Election Day, is Oct. 7.