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Cumming to hold special election on June 16
City council vacancy first since the early 1990s
city

CUMMING — A special election to fill the unexpired term of longtime Cumming City Councilman Rupert Sexton, who announced last week he was stepping down, will be held in June.

“The election will be on the 16th,” said Barbara Luth, elections supervisor for Forsyth County, which will handle the election of the city. “… I think [the winner takes office] as soon as they’re sworn in after the election, because this is for the unexpired term.

“Whoever gets into office will be back up for election in 2017, because that’s when his original [four-year] term of office ends.”

Sexton, who held the Post 1 seat for more than 44 years, will head into retirement Friday. Whoever succeeds him will be the first new member on the council since the early 1990s.

The city council has scheduled a meeting for 10 a.m. Friday to discuss the situation. The agenda for that meeting lists two items: the “appointment of a qualified person to fill the vacancy” caused by Sexton’s departure; and a “resolution for the purpose of calling a special election.”

Officials have previously said the appointee would serve until the special election determines a permanent replacement.

Those interested in running for office must be registered to vote, at least 21 years old and have lived in the Cumming city limits for at least one year. The qualifying fee is $180.

Luth, said qualifying would start in about two weeks.

“Qualifying is going to be the 12, 13 and 14 of May,” she said. “If only one qualifies, then they must wait seven days for any possible write-ins before they can cancel the election.

“If only one person qualifies, then the city does not have to hold an election.”

Contested elections in Cumming, the county’s lone municipality, are rare. There hasn’t been one since 2003, when Mayor H. Ford Gravitt faced an opponent.

The councilmen, like Sexton in 2013, have typically run unopposed for re-election.

Regardless of what happens this spring, the council still will have three other seats up for election Nov. 3. Qualifying for Posts 3, 4 and 5 is set for Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and 2, with the fee to do so $180.