Some voters in eastern and southeastern Floyd County and a big part of Bartow County aren’t sure about what to do when they come to the box for state House District 14 on their advance ballots.
Christian Coomer, the Republican incumbent, was unopposed for re-election in the primary and in the Nov. 6 general election. But since qualifying and after absentee ballots were prepared for the Nov. 6 election, Coomer was appointed to a judgeship on the state Court of Appeal. His swearing in ceremony is Oct. 31 and he submitted his resignation letter from the House on Monday — effective the last day of this month.
We have calls into the Georgia Secretary of State’s office for the official version but any votes cast for House 14 basically will be null. The next occupant of that House seat will be picked in the special election and it probably won’t happen until mid-December.
What has to happen next:
- With Coomer’s resignation in hand, the governor can now ask the secretary of state to open qualifying for the post. Expect no more than a week for that.
- Once qualifying ends, an election date will set, meaning voters in parts of both counties will be asked to vote one more time this year. Or maybe twice should any race on the Nov. 6 ballot require a runoff, which is not uncommon in Georgia election history. The runoff election date is Dec. 4 — but again, it is unlikely the House District 14 race would appear on that ballot.
- The winner of the special election would go on to represent the district when the General Assembly convenes in January and serve a two-year term.
So far, the declared candidates for District 14 are:
Ken Coomer, the incumbent’s father and an Adairsville pastor.
Nickie Leighly, an active Republican volunteer and foster care advocate.
Mitchell Scoggins, Bartow’s retired probate judge.
The would-be candidates are not waiting around for a formal declaration to campaign. Ken Coomer already has attended several events, including a recent Rome Floyd Chamber Business After Hours. Scoggins was in Floyd County on Tuesday, attending the Rome TEA Party meeting at Fuddruckers. He later voted early — and says he wrote his name in for the House 14 seat.
THE FLOYD PRECINCTS (in blue)
-Precincts: Barkers, Chulio, Etowah, Howell,
THE BARTOW PRECINCTS (in blue)