It will be “nearly impossible” for Georgia taxpayers to avoid picking up the bill for a special election if state Sen. Ed Tarver (D) becomes the Southern District’s U.S. Attorney, Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey told The Augusta Chronicle. Edmund A. Booth Jr., a Bush holdover, is currently the U.S. Attorney for the district.
The reason? Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) can’t declare Tarver’s state senate seat empty and issue a write of election until Tarver has resigned. The governor also needs time to let a 30-day “candidate qualifying period” lapse before the scheduled Nov. 3 ballot.
If a candidate to replace Tarver does not appear on the ballotU., Purdue will be forced to schedule a special election sometime in 2010, Bailey told the Chronicle. Although it is unclear how much the additional election would cost, a single-issue sales tax referendum voters considered in June cost the city $83,290.
In addition, the Tarver vacancy likely would open up other seats, meaning other special elections for whomever fills Tarver’s seat. Among the politicians looking to replace Tarver are state Rep. Hardie Davis (D), Richmond County State Court Solicitor Harold Jones (D) and Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason. Althought Tarver is rumored to be the frontrunner for the job, the White House has made no annoucement on a nominee.