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Official won't seek re-election
Laughinghouse has served two terms in District 1

Charles Laughinghouse has announced that he will not seek re-election to the Forsyth County commission.

Family was at the heart of the decision for Laughinghouse, who chairs the five-member board.

Laughinghouse, 68, said he wouldn't attempt to run without the help of his two daughters. Since his last campaign in 2006, one daughter has moved overseas and the other passed away.

Laughinghouse, who made his first bid for office in 1998, said he has been active in serving the county.

"I'm just really thinking that I've put, in my mind, 12 years working for this county," he said. "I think it's time to let someone else have a shot at it."

Laughinghouse is in his second term serving District 1, which covers some of Cumming and much of western Forsyth.

He was first elected in 2002 and has served as chairman, which the commissioners appoint annually, since 2007.

Laughinghouse said in a statement that his "years in office have been rewarding on both a personal and professional level.

"I am proud of my accomplishments and my contributions," he said.

Perhaps the biggest of those, he said, was "getting the [unified development code] rewritten to get a little more control and a little more common sense into the zoning and development process."

The retired engineer said he may do some traveling and consulting after his commission term ends, though one thing is certain.

"I'm still going to be fairly active in what goes on in the county," he said. "I was before I got elected, and I'm sure I will be when I get out of the office."

Laughinghouse described himself as “apolitical for most races,” but will support Commissioner Jim Harrell’s re-election bid in District 3.

Republican Pete Amos is the lone candidate in District 1, having announced in June.

Amos faced Laughinghouse in the 2006 Republican primary, a contest that saw Amos carry District 1 but lose the countywide vote.

Commissioners will be elected by district for the first time this year, rather than by the county as a whole.

Amos said Laughinghouse's decision has no bearing on his campaign.

"If Charlie did not run, I thought somebody else may run," Amos said. "So it's not going to affect my campaign one way or another. We're working hard here right now."