Updated: If there’s an election but no candidates, who wins?

Two-term state House member Rep. Kevin Levitas (D-Atlanta) announced Friday he will not seek re-election, leaving exactly zero candidates running for House District 82.

Levitas qualified to run again last week, but in a statement Friday said he has changed his mind.

“Given the immense talent and dedication of those in our community, I know that our area and our state will be well-served by my successor,” Levitas said in a statement.

But, no other candidate has qualified to run. So who will represent the DeKalb County district?

That, apparently, is a good question. Nobody seems to know for sure just yet, although several possibilities exist. Primary among them is that someone can petition to run as an independent, which would require collecting signatures from 5 percent of eligible registered voters in the district. With just more than 25,000 registered voters in District 82, it would only require about 1,250 signatures.

That seems the most likely way the seat could be filled.

The Libertarian Party, which chooses its candidates in a convention, did not nominate a candidate for the seat either, although they have until late June to submit their candidates’  names to the Secretary of State.

Another theory is that Levitas could resign his seat rather than hold it through November’s election. His resignation would trigger a special election, although it’s unclear if the winner of that race would be able to serve beyond November, since he or she has not qualified for the general election.

Update 5:10 p.m.: Matt Carrothers, spokesman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp, said the answer is all of the above.

An independent or a third-party candidate can still qualify. Those interested must file a notice of candidacy with Kemp’s office between June 28 and July 2. Independents must then submit their petition signatures by noon July 13.

But, that means no Republican or Democrat will represent the district next year.

26 comments Add your comment

Raquel Morris

May 7th, 2010
5:05 pm

What’s wrong with him? How selfish and irresponsible! Most likely, the taxpayers of Georgia will have to pay extra money for a special election.


green green

May 7th, 2010
5:07 pm

He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy with something to hide … hmmm….

[...] the word from multiple tipsters and the AJC: Two-term state House member Rep. Kevin Levitas (D-Atlanta) announced Friday he will not seek [...]

Brad F

May 7th, 2010
5:22 pm

If it’s a special election, anyone can qualify, but under normal circumstances, even the Libertarian Party would have to submit petitioning. Sorry that the Dems and GOP don’t care about that position, but they’ve blocked access to the ballot so fiercely, this is what you’re left with. You’ll either support a Dem or a GOP or you’ll not have any representation.

[...] he just decided to drop out of the race, leaving…let me tabulate this for a second, hold [...]


May 7th, 2010
5:50 pm

You better believe the Libertarian party is gonna be all over this like white on rice.


May 7th, 2010
7:23 pm

Go check out my post in Peach Pundit, there should be a Democratic only special primary. At least that’s how the R’s did it when it benefited them as recently as 2008.


May 7th, 2010
8:59 pm

Steve Schultz almost beat Kevin Levitas in 2006. I am sure he will be running to claim that seat.

Cheap Shot

May 7th, 2010
9:55 pm

If there’s an election but no candidates, who wins?

David S

May 7th, 2010
10:00 pm

If they hold an election for a political office and there are not candidates running, obviously the voters WIN. I think this might be the easy, bloodless approach we all have been looking for. Government just ends it parasitic attachment to our freedoms and liberty by just not showing up anymore to feed off us.

I hereby encourage all politicians to resign and for nobody to take their place. The private sector has everything we need. They always have. Thank you Kevin for showing us the way. Who would have thought it would have been a democrat?

The Cynical White Boy

May 7th, 2010
10:31 pm

Maybe Oh-blah-blah will invite all the constituents of the 82nd district up to the White House for a beer. He can smooth talk them, and that will solve all the problems that anyone in the 82nd district would ever have anyway.

[...] in November of 2008, and had no opposition in either a primary nor in November of 2010. The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the Secretary of State had ruled that there would be no Democrat or Republican on [...]

A Realist

May 8th, 2010
8:12 am

Me thinks he’s a pretty smart guy……he just got tired of his Democratic Party’s Agenda and instead of switching parties, he just quit. This would be wonderful if it would catch on.

Martin King

May 8th, 2010
11:21 am

If no one runs, the people of GA will benefit. The same should happen for all the legislative seats. And the Governor’s office.

[...] serious. And that he knows he’ll have to run as an independent, so signatures are a must. According to the AJC, there is another option I was not aware of to get on the ballot. The Libertarian Party has held [...]


May 8th, 2010
12:25 pm

I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t want to work or associate with all of those fools under the gold dome either.


May 8th, 2010
2:41 pm

No Republican or Democrat will represent the district this year? Wow, what a step in the right direction! Let’s hope this becomes a trend!

Ricahr Williams

May 8th, 2010
3:35 pm

Of please,unless you have have elected to a office you don’t know crap.

Rep. Levitas has represented the citizens of House #82,DeKalb County & the State of Georgia well.

This, year in the General Assembly was ROUGH,adn with continue attacks from the WACKO Liberals from his own Party ,the Republicans & the DeKalb County School Boardtoo.

Rep.Levitas, voted the values & wishes of House #82,not the hardcore BS of Rep.Benfield & Rep.Henson.Then, the members of holy than thou DeKalb County School system when on a personal attack because,he took on the crooked and self-centered ways.

It,is an issue up to the citizens of House #82,not anyone else (Morris,Green & Peach Punit).

A Realist

May 9th, 2010
8:25 am

Ricahr Williams

May 8th, 2010
3:35 pm

Man, are you a product of those great DeKalb County Schools? Whew!!!!

Dr. Phil

May 9th, 2010
12:12 pm

Unemployed teachers should start running for office. There are plenty available thanks to Sonny and the pirates in the legislature.


May 9th, 2010
6:38 pm

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.


May 10th, 2010
8:14 am

I agree…he says ‘neither a dem or a repub will represent the district’ as if it’s a bad thing. HA.

I have a rep that has never stood up to a primary, nor has there ever been anyone who ran against her in a general election. IT SUCKS. I wish the other party would put SOMEONE in there. But they don’t bother. It’s really disgusting. Even if I completely agreed with the rep.


May 10th, 2010
8:49 am

Sounds like our governor’s race. No candidates.

[...] Huttman was right. Reversing what was reported at the end of last week, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has announced that qualifying will take place in HD-82, after State [...]

[...] he is not seeking re-election despite qualifying to run as a Democrat. This gets interesting. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Two-term state House member Rep. Kevin Levitas (D-Atlanta) announced Friday he will not seek [...]


May 13th, 2010
7:43 pm

The answer to this question is very simple: the people win, because they will not be subject to representation by a Democrat or a Republican.