There is a Special Election on Tuesday in Georgia State Senate District #54 (Dalton area) to replace Sen. Charlie Bethel (R), who was appointed to a state judgeship. Five candidates filed to run:
- Conda Goodson, a community volunteer who ran against Sen. Bethel in the May 2016 Primary
- Chuck Payne, the former Whitfield County Republican Party Chairman
- Debby Peppers, a former Whitfield County Commissioner
- Michelle Underwood, a former educator who lost a bid for a seat on the Whitfield County Commission in May
- William Vinyard, contractor
All of the candidates filed to run as Republicans except for Ms. Peppers, who qualified as a nonpartisan candidate.
As shown by the table below, Mr. Payne and Ms. Peppers have far out-raised the other three candidates in this abbreviated campaign period:
With 5 candidates running, it will be tough for any one of them to get more than 50% of the vote on Tuesday; therefore, a January 10, 2017 runoff seems likely. And although Mr. Payne and Ms. Peppers are far ahead in terms of fundraising, four of the five candidates have at least some experience in politics and campaigning.