The race for Bibb County Sheriff took a surprise turn Friday morning when Republican Shawn Fritz qualified to run.
After a 21-year career in the Air Force, Fritz was hired in April 2011 as interim director of Macon Public Works to replace Richard Powell who had been fired. Last October, Macon City Council voted to reinstate Powell, which displaced Fritz.
Three other candidates for Sheriff qualified to run earlier in the week: current Deputy Sheriff David Davis; Bill Lucas, brother of State Senate 26 seat holder Miriam Paris; and Albert Hall, retired captain with the Sheriff's Office.
Bibb County Chairman Sam Hart officially started his reelection bid on the second day of qualifying. Hart is the only candidate to file at this point Thursday in Bibb County. He has scheduled a press conference at the Bibb County Courthouse for 4:15 p.m.
Macon Water Authority incumbent Javors Lucas qualified for his reelection to the District 2 seat. Lucas is father to the State Senator District 26 incumbent Miriam Paris and Bibb County Sheriff candidate Bill Lucas.
Democrat Regina Davis qualified Friday morning to oppose the 90-year-old Lucas for the six-year District 2 term on the MWA. Davis ran for Macon City Council in 2007 but lost that Ward IV citywide seat to Paris.
On Thursday, local attorney Erica L. Woodford qualified for the Clerk of Superior Court post which is being vacated by incumbent Dianne Brannen who has decided not to run again.
Friday morning, Linda Tillman, who currently works as the Chief Deputy of Superior Court under Brannen, qualified to replace her boss as the Clerk of Superior Court. Brannen, a Democrat, was on hand to endorse Tillman, a Republican.
Candidates for the Bibb County Board of Education picked up more opposition.
Republican Arthur J. Thompson qualified to run against incumbent Ella Carter and Brenda Sutton for the District 1 seat. And Democrat Erica Eaton qualified to oppose Susan Sipe for the District 3 seat in the July primary.
Democrat Angela Davis Hopper qualified on Friday morning for the District 5 seat currently held by Tom Hudson, also a Democrat.
Incumbent Tax Commissioner Tommy Tedders (R) has officially qualified for reelection.
All other Bibb County political hopefuls formally launched their candidacies Wednesday as qualifying for federal, state and local offices started.
Thus far, they are:
Bibb County Sheriff
- Current Deputy Sheriff David Davis (D)
- Bill Lucas (D), brother of State Senate 26 seat holder Miriam Paris
- Albert Hall, retired captain with sheriff's office
Bibb County Board of Commissioners
- Incumbent Sam Hart (D) seeks reelection as Bibb County Commission Chairman
- Businessman and newcomer Tom Wagoner (R) makes his challenge for the Chairman's seat
- County commissioner Lonzy Edwards (D), seeking another term representing District 1.
- County commissioner Bert Bivins (D), seeking another term representing District 2.
- Former coroner Ed Bond (R) for the District 3 seat Elmo Richardson is leaving
- Former School Board Chair Gary Bechtel (R)
- Real Estate agent Mallory Jones (R)
- Bibb County commissioner Joe Allen (D), also seeking a third term for his District 4 seat.
- Newcomer Robert Abbott (R) challenging the incumbent
Bibb County Board of Education
- Ella Carter (D), seeking a second term representing District 1 on the school board.
- Brenda Sutton (D), who'll be challenging Carter in District 1.
- Thelma Dillard (D), Bert Bivins' sister, running for the board of education in District 2.
- Angela Freeman (R), wife of former State Rep. Allen Freeman, challenges incumbent Susan Sipe (D) in District 3
- Democrat Erica Eaton will oppose Sipe in the July primary
- Local attorney Lester Miller (R) running for the District 4 seat held by term-limited Susan Middleton
- District 5 school board member Tom Hudson (D), also running for re-election.
- Democrat Angela Davis Hopper challenges Hudson in the July primary
State Court Solicitor
- GOP local delegate Jason Downey (R) running for the District 6 seat vacated by Gary Bechtel
Bibb County Coroner
- Rebecca Grist, who currently works for the Bibb County Solicitor's Office
Bibb County Probate Judge
- Incumbent Leon Jones, seeking a third four-year term.
Macon Water Authority
- Sarah Harris, candidate for Bibb County probate judge.
- Steve Rickman (R) seeks re-election for his District 3 seat
- Javors Lucas (D) qualified to run for another term in the District 2 seat.
Bibb County District Attorney
The race is a rematch of 2010's
showdown for former DA Howard Simms unexpired term. Incumbent Greg
Winters (R) squares off against Senior Assistant District Attorney David
Cooke (D) for the second time.
Current school board member Gary Bechtel, a Republican, is finishing his 12th year on the board and can't run for re-election. But Bechtel is expected to seek the District 3 seat on the Bibb County Commission. Commissioner Elmo Richardson holds the seat now. But Richardson said he won't run again.
Check back with 13WMAZ.com for updates on this story today.