Chuck Hufstetler

Chuck Hufstetler

Local lawmakers are meeting with various constituencies in the run-up to the 2019 Georgia General Assembly session, which opens Jan. 14.

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler and Reps. Katie Dempsey and Eddie Lumsden are slated to attend a joint session of the Rome and Floyd County school boards this morning.

The Republican legislators, all from Floyd County, also heard Friday from the Rome City Commission. Priorities for the board include state action on illegal gaming machines, better accountability of sales tax collected locally and potential re-use of the state-owned Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property.

Meetings between now and mid-January also are typically scheduled with local organizations and agencies such as the Floyd County Commission to the Rome Floyd Chamber and the Floyd County Farm Bureau.

The local legislative delegation, however, is one short.

A special election is set for today to fill the state House District 14 seat vacated by Christian Coomer when he accepted an appointment to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the district, which covers the western half of Bartow County and five precincts in Floyd: Barkers, Chulio, Etowah, Howell and part of North Rome.

The Cartersville Republican will be succeeded by one of four Bartow County Republicans.

On the ballot today are Pastor Ken Coomer, who is Christian Coomer's father; small business owner Nickie Leighly; retired Probate Court Judge Mitchell Scoggins; and Nathan Wilson, owner of Wilson Contracting Co.

Coomer reported taking in over $36,000 in campaign contributions, starting with $2,600 from his son. Other Georgia lawmakers backing him with cash included House Speaker David Ralson, Reps. Jay Powell of Camilla, Butch Miller of Gainesville and several others. Lumsden donated $500.

The Adairsville pastor also received donations from some political action committees, including $2,000 from the Georgia Association of Real-tors, $1,000 from the Georgia Optometric Association and $500 from AT&T.

Scoggins also had significant funding for a special election announced about two months ago. He reported $16,500 in contributions as of the Dec. 3 deadline.

Major donors included John and Lisa Gilbert of CJT Software in Can-ton, $2,500 each; attorney Michael Prieto, Bartow business owner Greg Bowen and Rydall painting contractor Chris Lyerla, $1,500 each; and, at $1,000 each, 24-hour Bonding of Cartersville, engineer Karl Lutjens and Wilson Towing Co. owner Tommy Wilson.

Nathan Wilson reported $1,127 in donations to his campaign, in amounts ranging from $10 from a supporter in Florida to $500 from a supporter in Michigan. Among the Georgia contributions were $100 each from Dana Possick of Canton and Alexander Torkildsen of Acworth; and $50 each from Brent Hilburn and Presley White, both of Woodstock.

Leighly had not filed a campaign finance report with the State Ethics Commission as of Monday night.