The Spalding County Board of Commissioners on Monday set the qualifying fee for the special election to complete the unexpired term of the late Dee Stewart. County Manager William Wilson Jr. said the fee “set by state law is 3 percent of the base salary for sheriff for a county of our population size.”
In response to a question from Commissioner Gwen Flowers-Taylor, Wilson said “3 percent is all we can charge.”
The base salary for the sheriff is $75,674.90. Wilson said for an incumbent, the pay is based on longevity of service, but the qualifying fee is then 3 percent of the previous year’s salary.
The special election will be Sept. 20, with qualifying from Aug. 8 until noon Aug. 10, as set by Spalding County Probate Judge DeWitt Simonton. If needed, a runoff election will be held Oct. 18.
The next regular election for sheriff will be in November 2012. Stewart was serving his third term as sheriff, after first being elected in 2000.
Former Sheriff Dwayne Gilbert was appointed as interim sheriff July 8 by Simonton, who said “in fairness to those who will run for sheriff in the special election, I appointed someone who has assured me he will not be a candidate for sheriff.”
From June 23 until Gilbert was appointed, Chief Deputy Maj. Teresa Bishop took over day-to-day duties for Stewart after he was hospitalized with head trauma and placed into a medically induced coma June 23 following a two-vehicle accident at Georgia Highway 3 and Moose Lodge Road.