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Friday, May 25, 2012 - 11:45am

Qualifying Ends With Few Contested Races

Candidates for 236 state legislature seats, 14 Congressional races and a host of school board and county commission paid their fees and filed the paperwork to run this week. Many incumbents won’t face opposition but there’s at least one notable match-up in the General Assembly that's galvanizing supporters and donors.

That's the race for the 117th district in Athens. Rep. Doug McKillip will face attorney Regina Quick in the GOP primary.

Tom Crawford, editors of the online publication Georgia Report, says McKillip is a target in part for turning Republican after he won the 2010 election as a Democrat.

That has allowed Quick to amass supporters and campaign contributors in both parties.

“You’ve got some personal animosity intervening," Crawford said after the qualifying period closed on Friday. "A lot of the Democrats are very personally angry at Doug McKillip for the way he handled the party switch. And they don’t care so much if they have to vote for a Republican to defeat him because they want to defeat him so badly.”

McKillip also drafted a hot-button bill this year that will ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Several other high-profile state lawmakers are also facing opponents, including Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock.

But Crawford says most incumbents will run unopposed.

“Whenever you have a redistricting like we had last year, you’ve got a lot of new districts so a lot of people will take a shot at running for something," he said. "But I still think there’s going to be a very large proportion of the [state] House and the Senate who can already start planning on coming back in January because they know there’s no one out there who can beat them.”

In other races, Democratic Congressman John Barrow faces four GOP challengers in a redrawn district that excludes some of the incumbent’s traditional base.

The Republican and Democratic primaries take place on July 31st.

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