The run to the November general election begins in earnest in Russell County with the beginning of the month-long qualifying period.
The county offices on the Nov. 4 ballot include all seven seats on the county commission and two seats on the Russell County School Board, the Place 1 seat held by incumbent Dillie Elliott and the at-large seat held by Alphonso Johnson.
Gary Head, the chair of the county Republican Party, said only two GOP candidates have qualified thus — District 1 Commissioner Gentry Lee and District 3 Commissioner Peggy Martin, incumbents on the commission. Republican candidates will be qualifying for office through the month, with qualifying closing at 5 p.m. March 28.
The Democrats began the quailifying process last weekend with a meeting in Montgomery where prospective candidates picked up packets. The Russell County Democratic Party will begin the actual qualifying of candidates with a meeting at 5:15 p.m. in the Russell County Courthouse.
The four incumbent Democrats on the commission are expected to qualify — Johnnie C. Robinson of District 4, Cattie Epps on District 5, Mervin Dudley of District 6 and J.D. Upshaw of District 7, who last week confirmed his plans to run for re-election.
Qualifying for the Democrats will conclude at 5 p.m. EST on April 4.