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Field set at four in race for Forsyth state House seat

FORSYTH COUNTY — All of the four announced candidates for District 24 seat in the state House of Representatives have officially qualified for the June 16 election.

The field, all Republicans, includes: Sheri Gilligan, Will Kremer, Ethan Underwood and David Van Sant.

The four have completed the necessary paperwork and paid the $400 qualifying fee, according to Jared Thomas with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office in Atlanta.

The seat opened May 11, when longtime incumbent Mark Hamilton announced he was stepping down to pursue a job opportunity in Tennessee. About 18 months remain on his term.

District 24 spans an area that includes Cumming and the middle of Forsyth County. It includes parts of six precincts: Coal Mountain; Cumming; Midway; Heardsville; Otwell; and Polo.

The election will fall on the same day as the city of Cumming’s contest to fill the seat of retired councilman Rupert Sexton.

All registered voters in the Cumming precinct are eligible to vote in the council election, though some — depending on street address — may not be able to cast a ballot in the state House contest.

Advance voting will be open for the election, though the times and days will vary by week.

The first week, which starts on May 26 due to Memorial Day and runs through May 29, the hours will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Cumming City Hall and the Forsyth County Administration Building.

The second week, June 1-5, voting will run at the same times as the first week. June 6 will be the lone Saturday of early voting, when it will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at city hall, the administration building and the Midway Park Community building.

The final week of advance voting, June 8-12, the three locations will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on June 8, 9 and 10, and from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on June 11 and 12.

There will be no early voting the Monday prior to the election.

A potential runoff election, if necessary, for the state contest would be July 14.

Qualifying closed at noon Wednesday and the deadline for voter registration was Monday.

Underwood, a partner in the Miles, Hansford and Tallant law firm, qualified Monday. He has previously served as chairman of the local and district Republican parties.

Gilligan, who was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserves and worked as an analyst for the CIA before teaching at Lanier Technical College, challenged Hamilton in 2014.

Gilligan qualified Tuesday, as did Van Sant, a personal injury attorney, and Kremer, former state chairman of the Georgia Association of College Republicans.