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One candidate qualifies for south Forsyth's District 2 special election
Dennis Brown
Dennis Brown

For the second year in a row, an election might not be needed to decide the next Forsyth County commissioner for south Forsyth’s District 2.

Qualifying wrapped up for the special election to fill the District 2 seat on Friday, and the only candidate to qualify was Dennis Brown, a south Forsyth resident and retired U.S. Army Colonel who announced his candidacy two weeks ago. Though no one else qualified, it is still possible for Brown to face a challenge.

“We have only one person that qualified for the commission District 2 race and that’s Dennis Ted Brown,” said Barbara Luth, supervisor of voter registrations and elections. “Unless we have someone come in as a write-in in the next seven days, then we will not have to have a District 2 commission race.”

Brown served in Afghanistan and has been awarded the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit. He ran unsuccessfully against then-Commissioner Brian Tam for the District 2 position in 2012.

He announced his candidacy after then-District 2 Commissioner Rick Swope stepped down from his post on Aug. 15 due to requirements for an executive position with E-Trade.

Swope took office in January after running unopposed to succeed Tam after the longtime commissioner decided not to run for re-election. The next commissioner will serve the rest of Swope’s term, which expires in 2020.

While there may not be a District 2 race, the county’s Board of Voter Registrations and Elections met at a special called meeting on Friday to discuss possible polling sites for a likely race to replace District 26 state Rep. Geoff Duncan, who announced on Monday he would be stepping down effective Sept. 18 “if not earlier.”

“The reason it has come up so quickly and we had a called meeting was because with the resignation of Geoff Duncan, [we might have a] District 26 election coming up in November,” Luth said. “We have to have those people a place to vote, because that is in the 26th district.”

District 26 makes up much of east and northeast Forsyth and surrounds Lake Lanier. The election to replace Duncan is expected to take place on Nov. 7, the same day as the District 2 race and mayor and City Council races for the city of Cumming, but it has not yet been called by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Duncan’s term, which ends in 2018. Marc Morris, the sole candidate to declare for the seat in 2018, said this week he will run in the special election and, if he wins, for re-election next year.

Precincts 3 and 4 were moved from the churches that typically hold voting after they notified the board they no longer wanted to be polling places. Both precincts now will both be at the community center at Central Park, located at 2300 Keith Bridge Road.

“We had two precincts, Harmony Grove Baptist Church and Browns Bridge Community Church, that were no longer available to us to be a polling place,” Luth said.  “Central Park is a very large facility, so what we’re going to do is have the voting place for both of these precincts at Central Park.

According to information from Forsyth County, Central Park is 5.5 miles from Harmony Grove and 2.4 Miles from Browns Bridge Church.