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District 5 commission race to be decided Tuesday
GA Primary web

Election 2016

On election night, visit ForsythNews.com for up-to-date election results.

After three weeks, advance voting for the July 26 Republican primary runoff has closed, meaning Tuesday will be the last chance for eligible voters to choose their next Forsyth County District 5 commissioner.

Advance voting wrapped on Friday for the race between candidates Justin Hawkins and Laura Semanson. The number of voters increased each week, with the final week having a total of 275 voters, for a three week total of 617.

“I think they went pretty good. They actually picked up a bit this week. I think the candidates were out knocking on doors and getting their people out,” said Barbara Luth, the county’s supervisor of voter registrations and elections, “For a runoff election, it’s about what I expected.”

District 5 includes east Forsyth and Lake Lanier and has about 27,000 registered voters.

For advance voting, polls were open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Forsyth County administration building.

On Tuesday, polls will be open at the following precincts:
• Browns Bridge Church, 3860 Browns Bridge Road
• Lanier United Methodist Church, 1979 Buford Highway (Hwy. 20)
• First Baptist Cumming, 1597 Sawnee Drive
• Sharon Springs Park community building, 1950 Sharon Road
• Windermere Lodge, 4444 Front Nine Drive

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents must show proper identification to vote.

The runoff is open to all District 5 residents who did not vote on a Democratic ballot for the May 24 general primary election.

“If you voted Republican in the primary, you can vote in this election. If you voted non-partisan in the primary, you can vote Republican, or if you didn’t vote you can vote Republican,” Luth said. “Now if you voted Democrat, you’re already in the primary and can’t vote in this election.”

Tuesday will be the final election before the Nov. 8 general election, which will also have three weeks of advance voting — the majority of the local races are not contested by two parties in November.

The winner of the runoff will replace Commissioner Jim Boff, who did not seek re-election for the seat he was first elected to in 2008.

Luth said the winner of Tuesday’s election will round out this year’s local commission races, since no Democrats, write-in, or independent candidates qualified.

In the primary, incumbent District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills defeated challenger Kelli Warren for the office she has held since 2013.

Rick Swope is set to be the next District 2 commissioner after he was the only candidate to qualify for the seat held by Commissioner Brian Tam since 2005.

Semanson and Hawkins were the top two vote getters in the May 24 Republican general primary, though neither earned the required 50 percent of votes plus one vote to win outright.

Semanson, who previously worked in the technology industry, received the primary’s most votes with 1,654 — about 43 percent of the total.

Hawkins, a pharmaceutical sales representative, finished with 1,241 votes —about 33 percent.

The race’s third candidate, Chandon Adams, received 914 votes, about 24 percent, and did not qualify for the runoff, which only takes the two with the most votes.

More information, including a sample ballot, can be found at forsythco.com/Departments-Offices/Voter-Registrations-Elections/Voter-Information-Guide.