Gov. Nathan Deal announced last Friday afternoon he had appointed Hamrick to fill a vacant Coweta Judicial District Superior Court judgeship, effective Sept. 10. Hamrick’s Senate resignation will open the District 30 seat for a special election on the Nov. 6 ballot and a possible runoff on Dec. 4.
Hamrick ran unopposed in the July 31 Republican Primary and faced no Democratic opposition in the Nov. 6 general election.
Qualifying dates for the seat have yet to be announced by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, Becky Deese, Carroll County elections supervisor, said Monday.
Georgia Senate District 30 covers parts of Carroll, Paulding and Douglas counties.
Among the potential candidates, who have made their intentions known, are District 67 Rep. Bill Hembree of Winston; former Georgia Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson; former District 68 Libertarian candidate James Camp of Temple; Carrollton businessman Jim Naughton; and Carrollton attorney Allen Trapp. Other potential candidates are rumored to be interested, but the names have not been confirmed.
Hembree, 46, has served in his District 67 seat since 1999. He faces a Democratic candidate, Leigh McMutry, in the Nov. 6 general election.
Hembree announced his intentions to seek the Senate seat Friday, soon after Hamrick’s judicial appointment was announced.
“I’m exploring the legal options with regard to my House seat, but I will not allow a Democrat to gain the seat,” he told The Douglas County Sentinel on Friday. “I don’t know all the legal issues here, but from what I can tell, we have until Sept. 6.”
Hembree currently serves as chairman of the House Industrial Relations Committee and serves on other committees, including appropriations, health and human services, higher education, insurance and rules.
He works as a Douglasville real estate manager and insurance agent.
Richardson, who resigned as House speaker on Jan. 1, 2010, confirmed Monday that he will run for Hamrick’s vacant seat. He served in the state House for 12 years and was the first Republican elected Speaker of the House since Reconstruction, from 2005-2009. Richardson’s resignation came after a highly publicized 2008 divorce from his wife. Richardson works with the Talley, Richardson and Cable law firm in Dallas.
Camp, 31, of Temple, is an information technology worker and was the only Libertarian candidate in last year’s House District 68 special election, later won in a runoff by Dustin Hightower of Carrollton. Camp said in the campaign that he believes in the free market, minimum government and maximum freedom.
Naughton, 52, of Carrollton, was an executive with Milliken and Company for 22 years. He is currently a business consultant and married to Laura Richards.
“I think this is a great opportunity to make a difference in a more significant way,” Naughton commented Monday about his candidacy. “I want to try to do something to help the economic well-being of Carroll, Douglas and Paulding counties. We have to figure a way to recreate manufacturing and unshackle smaller business owners.”
Trapp, 59, of Carrollton, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and earned his law degree from Georgia State University. He has lived more than 24 years in Carrollton and has served as chairman, vice-chairman and treasurer of the Carroll County Republican Party. He is a Kiwanis Club member and a frequent speaker at legal seminars.
“I believe we need an effective advocate, and I have a proven track record for hard work,” Trapp said Monday. “We need someone to protect Second Amendment and other rights and to seek out legislation to help economic growth in West Georgia.”
– Douglas County Sentinel Reporter Haisten Willis contributed to this article.