City of Cumming Post 1 Councilman Chuck Welch is seeking his first re-election and said he has learned a lot since taking office.
Welch recently qualified to defend his seat from challenger Chad Crane, a project manager. He was first elected in a special election 2015 to fill the unexpired term of the seat after the retirement of former councilman Rupert Sexton.
“I got elected two years ago and it’s been an honor to serve the residents of the city of Cumming,” Welch said. “Obviously, when it came time to run for my position again I was excited to do so. I love being part of the city of Cumming and we’ve accomplished so many great things over the years.
“I just want to make sure I stay involved in a leadership position to help us continue to move forward over the next few years.”
Welch said his time in office has made this year’s campaign “very different” from his first.
“A couple of years ago I was telling people what I wanted to do,” he said. “Now I speak with experience and we can talk about what we’ve done and what we want to do.”
Before Welch took office, there had not been a new city councilmember in more than two decades. Welch said it was helpful to join a “group of people that have so much experience and wisdom.”
If re-elected he wants to continue keeping the city debt free and not having city property taxes and said the city wants to look into a comprehensive plan to see what voters want in the city.
“We’re really listening to the people that live here and trying to stay on top of what they wish our city had in it,” Welch said. “We’re working very hard to try to come up with a plan and deliver it to them in the future.”
Welch said he is a lifelong city of Cumming resident with the exception of about eight years when he attended college and graduate school and started his career. His late father, Charles Welch, served on the city council from 1972-86 and later the Forsyth County commission.
Two other races will also take place in the city this year.
Mayor H. Ford Gravitt, who was first elected to his seat in 1970, will face challenger Troy Brumbalow, a local businessman. Post 2 Councilman Quincy Holton, who took office in 1969, will be challenged by Jason Evans, Evans, president of Professional Cryogenic Metallurgy and Coatings in Cumming.
The election will be held on Nov. 7, and three weeks of advance voting will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays between Oct. 16 and Nov. 3. All voting will take place at City Hall.
The candidate with the most votes in each race will be elected, and no run-off will be held if a candidate gets less than 50 percent of votes plus one vote, as is the case in Forsyth County and other municipalities.
Winning candidates will serve a four-year term.
For voters, registration must be completed by Oct. 10 and can be done at the Forsyth County Voter Registration and Elections Office. Voters must live inside the city limits.
For more information on the election, go to CityofCumming.net. Voter registration information is available at ForsythCo.com/Departments-Offices/Voter-Registrations-Elections.