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Multiple candidates eye runs for magistrate

While Lamar County had only one contested local race – that for county coroner – on the Nov. 3 general election ballot, the special election to fill the post of chief magistrate has drawn a host of potential candidates who are kicking the tires and considering entering the fray. The post was vacated when Judge Karen Rhyne (Jackson) Henson died Nov. 10 after a fierce battle with cancer at the age of 46. Her deputy Sandy Studle is serving as interim chief magistrate. The county commission is expected to call the election and set qualifying fees early in December. The vote will be held on March 16, 2021. Also on the ballot that day will be the extension of ESPLOST, the one percent local option sales tax that benefits the school system. Two candidates have officially announced they will seek the post. They are City of Barnesville XXXX Arthur (Brutz) English and Gordon State College police chief Jeff Mason. At least four others, including two attorneys, may throw their hats into the ring. The chief magistrate issues warrants, conducts preliminary and bond hearings in criminal cases and handles minor civil disputes among other duties.

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