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Date set for special south Forsyth District 2 election for commission
Seat left vacant after Swope resigned over business conflict

A date has been selected for voters to pick their new commissioner in south Forsyth.

The special election to fill the unexpired term of former District 2 County Commissioner Rick Swope will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7, the same day as elections for the city of Cumming. Qualifying will be open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30 and Thursday, Aug 31 and 9 a.m.-noon on Friday, Sept. 1.

“Rick Swope did send a letter to [Chairman] Todd Levent, as well as the governor, resigning his position,” said Barbara Luth, supervisor of voter registrations and elections. “We did get a letter from the governor thanking him for his service and accepting his resignation, so [County Attorney] Ken [Jarrard] felt that we needed to go forward in order to call this election and get it going so we can have it November since we’re having a city election anyway.”

The decision to set the election date was made by the county’s Board of Voter Registrations and Elections by a 3-0 vote, with members Joel Natt absent and Randy Ingram abstaining.

Advance voting will be held from Monday, Oct. 16 through Friday, Nov. 3. Times and locations for advance voting will be approved at the next meeting of the election board on Sept. 5.

The qualifying fee was set at $1,047.02, and if no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote plus one vote, a runoff will be held on Dec. 15.

The election is non-partisan, meaning candidates do not have to win a primary from one of the political parties and can choose whether or not to include their political party on the ballot.

Commissioners in Forsyth are elected by district-only voting. District 2 covers much of south Forsyth.

Voting on Nov. 7 will take place 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and will be held at regular polling places in the district.

Swope, who took office in January, resigned from the seat unexpectedly last week after accepting an executive position with E-Trade, which had the condition that he couldn’t hold elected office.

Swope ran unopposed as a first-time politician for the office after former District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam decided not to run for re-election of the seat he had held since 2005.

Until the election, votes by the Board of Commissioners will be decided by the four sitting officials. A tie vote effectively postpones a decision until the new commissioner takes office.

So far, only south Forsyth resident and retired U.S. Army Colonel Dennis Brown has announced his candidacy, which he did the day after Swope resigned.

For more voting information, go to