Georgia holds special election to replace lawmaker who died from the flu

Three Georgia Republicans and an independent are running in a Tuesday special election to replace state Rep. Richard Smith of Columbus, who died Jan. 30 while ill with the flu.JUDGE DENIES DONALD TRUMP’S MOTION TO DISMISS CHARGES IN GEORGIA ELECTION CASERepublicans running for the House District 139 seat include Sean Knox, who owns a pest control company and is a former member of the board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; oral and facial surgeon Don Moeller, an Army veteran who is both a physician and dentist; and Carmen Rice, a human resources professional who is the first woman to serve as Republican Party chair in Muscogee County.Running as an independent is Robert Mallard, an Army veteran and former real estate broker who owns a beekeeping and honey company.No Democrats qualified in what historically has been a Republican district. The district covers parts of Muscogee and Harris counties.All the candidates are running together in the special election with no primaries to select nominees. If no one wins a majority, the two candidates winning the most votes will advance to a runoff on May 7.The election is only for the remainder of Smith’s term through the end of this year, during a period when legislators are not scheduled to meet. Candidates must run again this year if they want to continue serving past January. Knox, Moeller and Rice all qualified for the Republican primary on May 21. Carl Sprayberry is the lone Democrat to qualify and will be his party’s nominee in November. Mallard could qualify this summer as independent for the November election.
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