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GOP women hear from 10 candidates
Turnout tops expectations
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Forsyth County News

FORSYTH COUNTY — Norman’s Landing was the place to be Wednesday for local candidates in the May 20 primary.

The popular eatery on Peachtree Parkway was home to the Republican Women of Forsyth County’s meeting, which featured District 3 county commission candidate David Hole and solicitor general candidate Susan Zereini.

In addition to the two invited office-seekers, many candidates seeking other posts stopped by and spoke briefly about their campaigns for office.

They included District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy, challenger Lauren McDonald III and Libby Schiff, the wife of a second Murphy opponent, Jack Schiff.

Incumbent District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent, District 24 state House of Representatives hopeful Sheri Smallwood Gilligan and District 26 state Rep. Geoff Duncan also addressed the gathering, as did Amanda Nixon and Mark Weiss, who are running for the District 1 seat on the county school board.

“Several people showed up that we weren’t expecting. We were delighted,” said Carolyn Fisher, vice chair of the GOP women’s group. “It’s nice to know as many people are interested in our government.”

Zereini, who’s running for Forsyth solicitor general, said she’s made it a campaign goal to educate the county about the position and why it’s so important.

She also touted her experience as a prosecutor, saying she’s handled everything from “homicide all the way down to DUIs.”

If elected, she said she would work across the community because she wants “this office to have good, working relationships with the entire county.”

Hole talked about his career as a builder and some of his goals if he were to win the primary. The county, he said, needs to encourage more commercial businesses, while at the same time, putting a limit on zonings for projects that are not moving forward.

Hole said he plans to bring a new approach to the commission.

“There are lots of things I think a fresh face can bring to the county,” he said.

His opponent, Levent, touched on his three years as a commissioner, saying he’s not against the city of Cumming, noting that “I just represent the county.”

“Economically we are very sound,” said Levent, adding that the commission is working to tighten the budget. “I have been working with the chamber to bring more jobs here.”

Despite the unexpected turnout of candidates, Fisher said she wanted to make sure each had a minute or two to introduce themselves.

“It’s important for the public to hear from these people so they can make an informed decision when they go to vote,” she said.