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Forsyth second most conservative area
Counties ranked across nation
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Forsyth County News
It may not surprise many people that Forsyth is Georgia’s most conservative county.

But a recent report also ranks Forsyth as the second most conservative-friendly county in America.

The ranking was conducted by the Daily Caller, a news site co-founded by print and broadcast media veteran Tucker Carlson.

According to the results, Forsyth “gave George W. Bush 83 percent of the vote, better than Democrats did in cities like Philadelphia and Manhattan, and about dead even with San Francisco.”

Ethan Underwood, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party said the news came as no surprise.

“The reason a lot of folks moved in was to get away from high taxes and not being represented by their local governments,” he said. “A conservative mind-set on how you run your government I think yields more attractive features — a better education system, it yields better jobs, it yields a better education and it yields economic opportunity.

“All of those things, I think, are byproducts of conservative governments that create a better environment that people naturally want to move to.”
Williamson County, Tenn., was ranked as the most conservative-friendly county, and Georgia’s Cherokee and Paulding counties ranked tenth and 19th, respectively.

Criteria for the list included percentages of married families, veterans and people who own a home.

The list also included the counties’ voting records in the past two presidential elections and state information on concealed weapons laws, religious attendance, abortion laws and state income tax.

For Ricia Maxie, chairwoman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party, none of those were factors when she moved to the county nearly five years ago.

“I didn’t know it at the time. I just came to visit one of my sisters and I loved the place,” she said.

“Had I known it, I probably would have still come here because it is so beautiful and my experience with the people here has been quite wonderful.”

Despite being such a conservative county, Maxie believes Forsyth is becoming home to more Democrats.

She may be right. While 83 percent of the population voted for Bush in 2004, Republican Sen. John McCain garnered 5 percent less of the vote during his 2008 presidential run.

President Barack Obama pulled in about 20 percent of the county’s vote, while 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry received only about 16 percent.

“We’re also seeing more diversity here than ever before,” Maxie said. “And my sense is that where there’s more diversity, often times there is a tendency toward middle-of-the-road politics or even a little interest toward liberal politics.”

Since Forsyth will likely continue to primarily vote Republican in the upcoming elections, the county’s status may generate more political appearances, Underwood said.

For statewide elections, he said, “you’re looking at raw votes.”

“Forsyth County is going to be integral in offsetting high Democratic turnouts in DeKalb and Fulton counties,” he said. “It’s person by person, so I think Forsyth County will be more important because they know they can come to a small geographic location and draw a large voter turnout.”