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County commission hopeful disqualified
Candidate doesn't live in District 1
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Forsyth County News
The race for the District 1 post on the Forsyth County commission has one less candidate after Michael Robinson was disqualified.

In a special called meeting, Board of Registration & Elections members voted Friday morning to remove Robinson’s name from the July 20 primary election ballot, after learning he does not live in the district.

His qualifying paperwork had his District 3 address, but was overlooked by the elections office.

“It wasn’t caught until he put in his change of address form when he came in to vote,” said Supervisor of Elections Barbara Luth. “One of my office staff saw that and we checked it to see that he was indeed in District 3, not District 1.

“It’s good that we were able to resolve this issue prior to getting the ballots printed.”

Ethan Underwood, chairman of the local Republican Party, said officials accepted Robinson’s paperwork and $126 qualifying fee after receiving a green light from the elections department.

“They have claimed full responsibility for that,” he said.

While Robinson is not entitled to a reimbursement, Underwood said the party has volunteered to return his qualifying fee.

The contest in District 1, which includes some of Cumming and much of western Forsyth, is down to Pete Amos and Brant Meadows.

The winner of their Republican primary showdown will face Democrat Mary Chatfield in the Nov. 2 general election.

Incumbent Charles Laughinghouse, who also chairs the commission, is not seeking re-election.

Voting is limited to residents living within that district.

When he first qualified, Robinson said his priorities would be making the county more conservative, including less government, lower taxes and cutting back wasteful spending.

Robinson, a retired telecommunications professional, did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment Friday.

Luth said Robinson does have the option to run for District 3 as an independent candidate.

The District 3 post, the second commission seat on the July ballot, covers the county's southwestern corner.

Incumbent Jim Harrell faces three challengers -- Todd Levent, Josh Shorr and Mark Venco -- in the Republican primary.

A runoff election, if needed, would be Aug. 10.

“It’s a shame,” said Underwood of Robinson's situation. “I hate to see anybody not get to participate in the process.”