MARIETTA — The last day of qualifying Friday saw Joan Davis of Powder Springs, who was disbarred by the Georgia Supreme Court earlier this year, surprise Republicans by filing with the GOP to run as clerk of the Superior Court.
Davis, who has run on four separate occasions for a seat on the Cobb Superior Court, lost her right to continue seeking that position when the high court revoked her ability to practice law on the grounds that she failed to properly represent her client.
She said being disbarred wouldn’t hurt her chances for court clerk.
“I think the people in the legal community who know me, I think they know the only reason I was disbarred was to keep me from running for Superior Court,” Davis said. “I’ve run several times in the past, and we felt like we were poised to actually prevail this time, and so the only way to keep me off the ballot was to yank my license.”
Davis said upon qualifying that she told Joe Dendy, Cobb GOP chairman, that she has many friends who are Republicans and that she is “very comfortable” running on the Republican ticket.
Asked how long she has been a Republican, Davis said, “I don’t know that that matters. I have run in the past on nonpartisan. I’ve never run on any ticket.”
Two other Republican candidates in the race for clerk are attorney John Skelton of Powder Springs and attorney Rebecca Keaton of Kennesaw, whose campaign is being managed by former GOP chair Scott Johnson.
Georgia House of Representatives
With the announcement that state Rep. Terry Johnson (D-Marietta) will not be seeking re-election, four candidates have signed up to try and replace him. Three are Democrats, including Marietta attorney Justin O’Dell, Diana Eckles and teacher Michael Smith. The winner will face Republican Phil Daniell, a retired commercial building inspector for Gwinnett County, in the general election.
Two candidates are challenging state Rep. Matt Dollar (R-east Cobb). They are Cynthia Rozzo, a Republican who publishes the East Cobber magazine, and Republican Nick Johnson of Marietta, owner of TactusMD, an electronic medical record software application business.
State Rep. Don Parsons (R-east Cobb) is being challenged by community activist JoEllen Smith in the Republican primary.
State Rep. John Carson (R-east Cobb) is being challenged by Martin Hawley of Woodstock, a Republican minister, and Kevin “Big Kev” Westphal of Kennesaw, a Democrat, who is in management retail sales.
State Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta) is being challenged by Charles Gregory of Kennesaw, a Republican who lists his occupation as information technology and services.
State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) is being challenged by Anne Taylor of Mableton, a Democrat and real estate broker.
State Rep. Sheila Jones (D-South Cobb) has two challengers, Robert Patillo and Jason Esteves, both Atlanta Democrats.
State Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta) is being challenged by Democrat Bill Bolton of Marietta, a management technical consultant.
Redistricting increased the 14 state representatives in Cobb to 15 by drawing the district represented by state Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) into Austell. Bruce has no challengers. Other incumbents who have no challengers include Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs), David Wilkerson (D-Austell), Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) and Sharon Cooper (R-east Cobb).
State Sen. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) has no primary challengers. Three Republicans will battle it out to challenge him in the primary, including Josh Belinfante of Sandy Springs, who served as Gov. Sonny Perdue’s chief executive counsel; Drew Ellenburg of Atlanta, who is in the wholesale furniture business; and retired Army Ranger Hunter Hill of Vinings, director of security for SecurAmerica.
Redistricting changed Cobb’s five senators to six. Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) was drawn out of Cobb, while the district represented by Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) was drawn into Cobb from the north.
Loudermilk faces no opposition to date, nor do Sens. Lindsey Tippins (R-west Cobb), Judson Hill (R-east Cobb) or Steve Thompson (D-Marietta).
Redistricting also drew the district represented by Sen. Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta) into south Cobb. Tate is being challenged by Reginald Crossley of Atlanta, a Democrat who lists his occupation as program director/youth commissioner.
Cobb Board of Education
Republican Randy Scamihorn, a retired Daniell Middle School vice principal, has qualified for the seat held by Lynnda Eagle on the school board. Eagle announced she would not seek re-election, and no one else qualified to run for that seat.
On the other side of the county, David Banks faces two Republican challengers for the east Cobb post.
One is Lisa Hanson of Roswell, a former sales and marketing executive who worked in the cable television industry for The Weather Channel and Showtime Networks and who has served as a substitute teacher in the Cobb School District. Hanson has children at Lassiter High and the University of Georgia.
A second is Stephanie Henry of Roswell, who has children at Hightower, Pope, KSU and Georgia Southern University.
Alison Bartlett, a Democrat, qualified for re-election. Three Republicans are squaring off in the primary for a chance to face her in the general election.
One is Heather Ryan of Acworth, owner of a medical recruiting company, who has children at Harrison High and Lost Mountain Middle.
Another is electrician Larry Darnell of Powder Springs, whose late father Jack Darnell represented the Osborne High area on the board for 12 years in the 1960s and ’70s.
Also challenging Bartlett is Brad Wheeler of Powder Springs, a retired McEachern High School administrator who works as a substitute administrator in the area when he can, most recently at Campbell High and Lindley 6th Grade Academy. His son will be in the eighth grade at Lost Mountain Middle School next year.
Vice chair David Morgan of Austell qualified for re-election and is being challenged by Karyn Harrison of Mableton and Bobby Allen of Powder Springs, both Democrats.
Cobb Board of Commissioners
Incumbent Democrat Commissioner Woody Thompson of southwest Cobb decided to run again after all by qualifying on Friday. He faces five challengers in the Democratic primary: Michael Rhett of Marietta, Lisa Cupid of Austell, Connie Taylor of Powder Springs, Ruth Negron of Powder Springs and Monica Delancy of Austell.
By comparison, Republican Commissioner Bob Ott of southeast Cobb faces no challengers.
The same cannot be said for county chairman Tim Lee, who faces three Republican opponents: former county chairman Bill Byrne, retired businessman Larry Savage and retired Marine Col. Mike Boyce.
U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) has picked up opposition from two Democrats: small business owner Robert Montigel of Alpharetta and business consultant Jeff Kazanow of Woodstock.
U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) faces two Republican challengers and one Democrat. One is William Llop of Sandy Springs, a CPA. Another is Michael Opitz of Marietta, who runs the Madison Forum. The winner will face Democrat Patrick Thompson of Roswell, a sales manager.
And U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-south Cobb) faces someone who qualified as “S. Malik” of Riverdale, listing “Republican” and “businessman” on the qualifying form.
Cobb Superior Court
Cobb Superior Court judges who qualified without opposition are Adele Grubbs, Lark Ingram, Tain Kell, Stephen Schuster and Mary Staley.
Three are running for the seat being vacated by retiring Superior Court Judge Dorothy Robinson. They are Roland Castellanos, a state court judge; former Marietta City Councilman Van Pearlberg, a senior assistant district attorney; and Greg Poole, a juvenile court judge.
And Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green is being challenged by attorney Nathan Wade.
Cobb State Court
Six of the seven seats for the Division 1 Cobb State Court judges are up for election, and all six incumbents qualified to run again without opposition. The judges are Melodie Clayton, Maria Golick, Irma Glover, Kathryn Tanksley, Toby Prodgers and Carl Bowers.
There are three Division II Cobb State Court judge seats up for election. Post 3, held by Judge Rob Leonard, and Post 5, held by Judge Eric Brewton, do not have challengers. The Post 2 seat held by Castellanos has opened up since Castellanos is running Cobb Superior Court.
There are four candidates vying for the seat Castellanos vacated. They are Larry Burke of Acworth, Gene Clark of Acworth, Joyette Holmes of Kennesaw and Marsha Lake of Kennesaw.
Two special elections will be held on account of Van Pearlberg resigning his Ward 4 Marietta City Council seat to run for Cobb Superior Court and Logan Weber resigning his Ward 1 Marietta Board of Education seat because he moved out of state.
Running for the seat Pearlberg vacated is his wife, Patti Pearlberg in addition to former City Councilman Andy Morris.
Brett Bittner, executive director of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, is running unopposed for Weber’s seat.
Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise of Marietta, a Republican, is being challenged by Republican Pam Davidson of Douglasville, an energy consultant.
Vying to replace retiring Cobb District Attorney Pat Head are two Republican Marietta attorneys, Vic Reynolds and Cindi Yeager.
County Sheriff Neil Warren faces opposition from Democrat Gregory Gilstrap of Austell.
Without challengers are State Court Clerk Diane Webb of Powder Springs, Probate Court Judge Kelli Wolk of Smyrna, Chief Magistrate Judge Frank Cox, Tax Commissioner Gail Downing and County Surveyor Donald Perryman.