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Meet the Qualified Candidates

Here's a look at some of the candidates who have already qualified to be on the ballot.

While Patch continues to cover the three-day election qualifying period , here's a little more information about some of the people who have already qualified to seek office.

A Virginia-Highland man is among the challengers set to face incumbent U.S. Rep. John Lewis for the District 5 congressional seat.

Republican Howard Stopeck, 73, officially threw his name in the race Wednesday, the first day candidates began qualifying for local, state and national offices.

This is the time when candidates pay their fees and officially put their names on the 2012 ballot.

Virginia-Highland resident Stopeck, a retired lawyer, made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1984.

Lewis, a long-time congressman and civil rights icon, will face Democrat Michael Johnson, 43, in the primary.

Johnson’s professional experience includes seven years as a Fulton County Superior Court Judge and more than seven years as a prosecutor for the DeKalb County Solicitor's Office, the Fulton County District Attorney's Office and the State Attorney General's Office. He has also chaired the Board of Ethics for the City of Atlanta.

Johnson is a lifelong resident of the district. Recently he contacted 50,000 District 5 households to ask people about their top issues, ideas and concerns.

"The office received thousands of response cards and phone calls, with many people expressing thanks for simply being asked their opinion," he said.

State House District 56 incumbent, Democrat "Able" Mable Thomas, 54, is ready to try for another term at the state capitol.

"Driven by a sense of service and duty, I humbly offer myself for re-election to State House District 56," she said. "It is a diverse area with citizens who deserve a better quality of life; to have public safety and their property rights protected free from housing fraud and foreclosures; and to have jobs, economic development and small business expansion."

In the District 56 race, Democrat challenger Ken Britt, 63, a retired executive, is ready to go too.

"While we've been campaigning for more than a month, it feels good to have officially completed qualifying paperwork this morning. The energy at the Capitol this morning was tangible. All the more so because we had supporters here with us from across the district. To go through the qualifying process with this great group is exhilarating," he said.

Candidates have until Friday, May 25 at noon to file papers to run for office. Stick with Patch for updates on the races.

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