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Candidates begin qualifying for 2023 election season

From Staff Reports
With a full slate of county and state offices up for grabs, this year’s election cycle promises to be a very active one. With that said, any local residents interested in seeking public office needs to act fast as the deadline for party primary and independent candidates to qualify for the 2023 election cycle is less than a month away.
The qualifying period for candidates officially began Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, and will continue until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Qualifying packets for all local races are available from the Chancery Clerk’s in the courthouse or online at
Election season is already heating up locally as multiple races are already generating a lot of interest. Leading in that regard are the positions of Greene County Sheriff and Justice Court Judge – Post 1 as longtime Sheriff Stanley McLeod and multi-term judge, Jeff Byrd, have both indicated they do not plan to seek re-election. The sheriff’s race has created the most early buzz as two candidates had already qualified by mid-day Tuesday and multiple others are expected to follow suit. The open justice court seat is also one expected to draw a lot of interest.
Nearly all county elected positions, including county-wide posts (sheriff, chancery and circuit clerks, tax assessor and coroner) and district posts (supervisors, constables, judges) will be up for election. A notable exception is the offices of the election commissioners, with only two of those five positions up for grabs in 2023.
Historically, all five county election commissioners have been elected in the Presidential Election cycle.  But the law was changed to stagger the election cycle, presumably to ensure there are commissioners serving at all times who have experience with election laws and the task of maintaining records and actually holding the elections. Commissioners from Dist. Two and Dist. Four will be elected this cycler, with the other three districts (one, three and five) to remain on the presidential cycle.
Generally, candidates must be a resident of the political subdivision in which he or she is running, and not having been convicted of certain felonies and other crimes. Candidates for county-wide office must be a county resident for the past two years. The county prosecutor must be a practicing attorney and the coroner must be at least 21, have a high school degree or equivalent and complete required training. County district offices such as supervisor also have the two-year residency requirement and a justice court judge also needs a high school graduation equivalent and complete required training.
Candidates can run as a political party candidate or as an independent. Party candidates will compete in party primary elections in August to determine who that party’s nominee will be on the November general election. Independent candidates will not be voted on until the General Election in November.
There is a qualifying fee of $100 for every county elected office, except election commissioners. Residents seeking office must also file a qualifying statement of intent. Election commissioners and anyone seeking office as an independent candidate have to file qualifying petitions with a required number of signatures of registered voters. Candidates must also file reports with the state ethics commission, possible economic interest and financial campaign reports.
The elected positions that will be on this year’s ballots are:
n statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Commissioner of Insurance and Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.
– state district offices for the state legislature (State Senate and House of Representatives), transportation commissioners, public service commissioners, and district attorneys; and
– county offices such as sheriff, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, tax assessor-collector, constables, justice court judges, coroner and county prosecuting attorney.

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