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Runoff for special election today
District 22 includes southwest Forsyth
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Forsyth County News

FORSYTH COUNTY — While attention is beginning to shift to the May 20 primary election in Georgia, Barbara Luth is hopeful some southwest Forsyth residents haven’t forgotten about the special election runoff Tuesday.

“I’d like to see people get out and vote,” said Luth, elections supervisor for the county.

The race pits Cherokee County residents Sam Moore and Meagan Biello for the District 22 post in the state House of Representatives. Whoever is elected will succeed Calvin Hill, who died in October.

The term expires at year’s end, so the winner faces the prospect of having to campaign again in the spring primary, not to mention the challenge of joining the 2014 Georgia General Assembly in midsession.

Moore garnered nearly 38 percent of the vote in the four-candidate Jan. 7 special election field, with Biello earning nearly 24 percent of the 2,433 votes cast.

While the race is nonpartisan, all the candidates identify themselves as Republicans.

Voter turnout across the district, which includes parts of Cherokee, Forsyth and Fulton counties, was about 9 percent. In Forsyth, about 3 percent of the some 10,000 eligible voters — those living in Brandywine, Polo and Midway precincts — participated.

Luth said local interest may have been diminished by the fact all four candidates are from Cherokee County.

She expects an even lower turnout for the runoff, which had a slow start with last week’s winter weather scrapping one day of the advanced voting period.

“We were not open on Wednesday, but we were open on Thursday after 10 a.m. at both locations and we were there until 7:30 [Thursday] night,” Luth said. “It’s low even when there is no snow.”

Advance voting in Cherokee and Fulton counties was closed both Wednesday and Thursday. In Forsyth, Luth said there were about a dozen voters Thursday and even fewer Friday.

“It’s going to be less for a runoff. That’s usually how it works. I’ll hope for 2 percent turnout,” she added.