COVINGTON - As one member of the local Republican Party put it, "It looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer."
When qualifying for the July 15 general primary wrapped up at noon on Friday, a total of 37 candidates had qualified in local races. Only a few will not have opposition.
The most hotly contested races include the Board of Commissioners chairman's seat, with a total of six candidates - three Republicans and three Democrats.
Seven candidates have qualified for the District 3 commission race, four in the District 1 race and three in the District 5 race.
With Sheriff Joe Nichols retiring after three terms, six candidates are vying to fill his seat.
The following is a complete list of qualifying candidates as reported by the Newton County Republican and Democratic parties at noon Friday.
· Board of Commissioners Chairman
Republican: Aaron Varner (incumbent); Ed Hutter; Susette Monk
Democrat: Emmett Denby; Kathryn G. Morgan; Hubert White
· District 1 Commissioner
Republican: Mort Ewing (incumbent); Ann H. Wilson
Democrat: Mark Patrick; Willie J. Smith
· District 3 Commissioner
Republican: Matthew Eason; Keith Mitcham
Democrat: Jimmy Clark; Andre Cooper; Victor Etefia; Nancy Schulz; Gabrial White
· District 5 Commissioner
Republican: Tim Fleming; John Travis
Democrat: Randy Vinson
· Board of Education District 2
Republican: Rickie Corley (incumbent); Don Gresham
Democrat: Eddie Johnson
· Board of Education District 4
Democrat: Almond Turner (incumbent)
Republican: Chris Cowan; Stacey Cotton; Marty Roberts; Bill Watterson;
Democrat: Ezell Brown; Gwen Hightower
· Tax Commissioner
Republican: Barbara Dingler (incumbent); Doris Strickland
Democrat: Nicholas P. Day
· Probate Judge
Democrat: Henry Baker (incumbent)
· District Attorney Alcovy Judicial Circuit
Republican: Ken Wynne (incumbent)
· Clerk of Superior Court
Republican: Linda Hays (incumbent)
Republican: Tommy Davis
· State Senate District 17
Republican: John Douglas (incumbent); Mike Crotts
Democrat: Rudy B. Cox
· State House District 95
Republican: Erick Hunt
Democrat: Toney Collins; George Wilson
· State House District 110
Republican: John Lunsford (incumbent)
· State House District 112
Republican: Doug Holt (incumbent)
· U.S. Senate
Republican: Saxby Chambliss (incumbent)
Democrat: Dale Cardwell; Vernon Jones; Rand Knight; Josh Lanier; Jim Martin
· U.S. Congress, District 7
Republican: John Linder (incumbent)
Democrat: Doug Heckman
· U.S. Congress, District 8
Republican: Rick Goddard
Democrat: Jim Marshall (incumbent); Robert Nowak
Crystal Tatum can be reached at email@example.com.