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Runoff Feb. 4 to decide special election

Moore, Biello advance in District 22 state House race

POSTED: January 8, 2014 1:41 p.m.

If Forsyth County voters had their way, Sam Moore would be heading to the state Capitol next week as the new District 22 state representative.

But the 53 percent of the county’s 278 voters made up only a small portion of the total 2,433 votes cast in a district that also includes parts of Cherokee and Fulton counties.

Based on districtwide voting, Moore received nearly 38 percent of the vote and has advanced to a Feb. 4 runoff election with Meagan Biello, who garnered nearly 24 percent.

The election was scheduled in early January with the goal of filling the post before the Georgia General Assembly convenes Jan. 13.

Whoever wins will fill the seat previously held by Calvin Hill, who died Oct. 30 at age 66, and join the state legislature in session.

In addition, the term expires Dec. 31, so he or she faces the prospect of having to seek re-election this year to retain it.

Biello, a school teacher, edged businessman Jeff Duncan by two votes, 576 to 574, to make the runoff. Attorney Nate Cochran drew less than 15 percent of the vote.

The district had a fairly high turnout for a special election, with more than 9 percent of the 57,709 registered voters casting a ballot.

That interest, however, was much lower in Forsyth, which saw about 3 percent of the 9,244 registered voters eligible to participate — those living in the Brandywine, Midway and Polo precincts — turn out.

“I was hoping that it would be more, but I’m glad that we got the 3 percent,” said Barbara Luth, Forsyth’s elections supervisor. “That was a higher percentage than we had during the last House special election.”

Luth suggested the lower turnout in Forsyth may have been because all four candidates are from Cherokee County.

While the race is nonpartisan, all the candidates identify themselves as Republicans.

The runoff election will be held Feb. 4, with early voting beginning as soon as Jan. 21, Luth said.


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