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Qualifying for primary opens Monday
Many expected to run for office
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The following candidates must register with their respective local political party at the Forsyth County Administration Building and pay the qualifying fee listed:

* County Commissioner, Districts 1 and 3 — $1,047.02

* County Board of Education, Districts 1 and 2 — $36.00

* Solicitor General — $3,404.76

* State Court Judge — $4,139.68


Candidates qualifying for the following positions must register directly with the Secretary of State’s office. They must also pay the qualifying fee listed:

* State Superior Court Judges (2) — $3,607.56

* State Senator, Districts 27 and 51 — $400

* State Representatives, Districts 9, 22, 24, 25, 26 — $400

* Congress, Districts 7 and 9 — $5,220

FORSYTH COUNTY -- Months of rumor and speculation culminate this week as qualifying for the May 20 primary opens Monday.

Political hopefuls for offices ranging from county commission and school board to judges and state lawmakers have until Friday to file.

The spring ballot also features a race for governor, though Forsyth County Elections Supervisor Barbara Luth said she thinks “the local races really draw more people out to vote.”

Luth predicts that one of the more hotly contested campaigns in Forsyth this year will be for “solicitor general, because we’ve already got three candidates interested in that.”

Candidates for state and federal offices, including state representatives and senators, must file with the Secretary of State.

Those seeking local office must go to the Forsyth County Administration Building in downtown Cumming and qualify with their party.

Both the county’s Democrat and Republican parties will have representatives manning the booths during qualifying hours in the building’s lobby to review qualifying information.

While the county’s Republican Party typically gets the majority of candidates, Forsyth County Democratic Party Chairwoman Sharon Gunter said there are “many options for Democrats to look at right now in several state races.”

As for local options, Gunter said the party is looking forward to qualifying.

“It’s important that we make a presence so that if there is somebody who does decide they want to run, that we’re there and offering that option,” she said.

“If we don’t have people that make the effort to make this available for when the opportunity arises, we’d never have a candidate, so it’s important work.

Republican Party Chairman Brad Wilkins said qualifying is an exciting time.

“We have a great team of volunteers helping this year, I believe 10 people in all,” he said.

While the majority of candidates in Forsyth qualify as Republicans, Wilkins said the two parties typically have a fun time waiting.

“We get along. It’s … very friendly,” he said. “… It’s good for Forsyth County whether it’s Republicans or Democrats. It’s people participating in the democratic process and I’m glad to see anyone who’s willing to step out there and put their name in the ring and compete for public office.

“We should tip our hats to them and welcome them to the race.”