Buckhead resident Bill Bozarth, independent candidate for the District 54 House of Representative seat, was notified Thursday both the Fulton County Board of Elections and the Georgia Secretary of State have certified his signature petition package. It came three weeks after Bozarth’s campaign submitted the documents. His campaign collected more than 2,200 signatures, but was required to bring in only 1,776.
Independent candidates in the General Assembly are rare in Georgia. There was only one, State Rep. Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville, on the ballot in November 2012, the last election for state lawmakers.
Bozarth will face the winner of Tuesday’s primary runoff election between Republican Beth Beskin and John McCloskey and Democrat Bob Gibeling in the Nov. 4 general election. Incumbent Republican Ed Lindsey is vacating the post to run for Congress. The district includes historic Brookhaven and most of Buckhead.
Of his candidacy and his decision to run as an independent, Bozarth said, “I reject the concept that asks us to fall into partisan divisions when we choose elected leaders. Together with my supporters, we elected to do the hard work of gathering over 2,200 voter signatures to get on the ballot. I’ll go into office reporting directly to the people without a layer in between. Republicans even have to sign a loyalty oath to run in their primary. I would never do that. I’ll serve the people of my district free of obligation to party leaders and free of big donor money influence.”