Get ready to vote for Augusta Mayor, Commissioners in July

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News12 First at Five/ Jan. 9, 2014

Augusta, Ga (WRDW)-----Augusta's Mayor race just got a little shorter. Commissioner Joe Jackson tells News12, he will not run for Augusta's top spot anymore.

Jackson says he thought about it and his family needs him more. Jackson tells us he has thrown his full support behind former City Administrator Fred Russell's canidacy for Mayor. Russell is yet to come forward and announce plans to run.

The candidates are not the only thing changing in this year's race. You won't be voting for the Mayor or Commissioners this year in November. Right now you'll be voting for those positions in July.

"It would be in July under the current law. It's anticapted that all the July elections will be moved to May," said Senator Jesse Stone.

Senator Jesse Stone is talking about the Augusta's Mayor race. Senator Stone wrote a letter to the State Attorney General requesting clarity on a law passed by the legislature.

"My letter was one of clarification. I wanted to find out whether the Supreme Court decision impacting the ability of state governments to change elections," said Sen. Stone.

The Attorney General's Office found that Municipal Elections for consolidated governments can be held at the same time as other federal and state primaries.

"This is a tactic to supress votes. They want to turn back the clock and send us back 100 years. We are not going back, we shall not be moved," said Dr. Smith NAACP President.

"I don't think that's the case. I think it will open up local elections to more participation," said Senator Jesse Stone.

The Richmond County Board of Elections is hoping for clarity from the state. Officials say it would cost thousands to hold a Federal primary in May and have a state primary in July. They're hoping leaders will make a decision fast.

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