The campaign season opened today in Polk County as the Board of Elections began accepting paperwork to qualify for County Commission and Board of Education seats up on the 2018 ballot.
District 1 Commissioner Jose Iglesias and former Cedartown City Commissioner Gary Martin have both qualified this morning for the seat currently held by Iglesias.
Selected by Polk County Commissioners in September to replace former Commissioner Jason Ward, Iglesias filed his paperwork to run for his first time in Polk County to retain the seat.
Comments from Iglesias will be forthcoming later today.
Martin joined him in the race this morning as well. The former city commissioner and Board of Education member and owner of Martin's Styling Center in Cedartown, Martin previously interviewed for the commission seat in September along with other candidates.
He's running on the Republican ticket for the May 22 primary. He said he is running for several reasons, chief among them to provide for "the better quality of life for citizens of Polk County."
Martin also wants to address several issues ranging from local concerns over the landfill and its operations, to potential solutions for improving the service of the Polk County Volunteer Fire Department.
"I’m looking forward to working with the commission on a variety of items should I be elected," he said.
No one has yet filed to run for the District 2 or District 3 seats currently held by Commission Chair Jennifer Hulsey and Commissioner Marshelle Thaxton, respectively.
Additionally, only one school board candidate had thus far submitted their name as qualifying opened this morning.
Robert Furr, a veteran educator at Cedartown and Rockmart high schools, will be running for the District 1 school board seat currently held by Jane Hamlett.
Furr taught all grades at the high school level for 30 years between Cedartown and Rockmart, and also served for 21 years in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard. He retired from service in the military in 2002.
His hopes are to end the "abuses that have been taking place in the school board. I want to work to make the school board run more like a business."
"I want more fiscal responsibility, merit-based employment practices, and make sure that we do things legally, honestly, fairly and above all morally correct," he said.
Additional seats are up this year for the Board of Education, including the District 2 seat held by board vice chair Bernard Morgan, the District 4 seat held by Grady McCrickard, and the District 7 seat held by board chair Tommy Sanders.
Qualifying for seats on the County Commission and Board of Education continues through Friday at noon. Fees are $144 for the county commission seats, and $95 for the school board seats.
Information about becoming a candidate, along with filing requirements for local seats can be obtained through the Polk County Board of Elections at 770-749-2103.