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Qualifying open, dates set for District 26 special election

Qualifying and election dates have been set to fill the unexpired term of former District 26 state Rep. Geoff Duncan.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced on Wednesday that qualifying for the seat, which represents west and northwest Forsyth, will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. this Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday for a Nov. 7 special election.

Qualifying costs $400 and will be done only in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, 802 West Tower, Atlanta.

Candidates for the seat must be at least 21, have been a citizen of Georgia for at least two years and must have lived in the district for at least a year.

Voters must register to vote in the election by Tuesday, Oct. 12, and in-person absentee voting will begin on Monday, Oct. 16.

Terms for state representatives are two years.

Duncan announced in August he would step down from the seat he was first elected to in 2012 to focus on his campaign for lieutenant governor.

Since then only south Forsyth businessman Marc Morris has announced his intention to run. Morris had previously intended to run for the seat in 2018 but decided with Duncan’s decision to run this year.

Previously, Morris said if elected this year, he plans to run for re-election in 2018.

Duncan’s term was set to expire at the end of 2018, and he was already not seeking re-election next year because state rules only allow candidates to declare for one position. Duncan’s replacement would serve the remainder of his term and will be up for re-election next year.

Local election officials had hoped for a Nov. 7 election since the city of Cumming will have three elections that day.

In the city elections, Mayor H. Ford Gravitt will run for re-election against Troy Brumbalow, Post 1 Councilman Chuck Welch against Chad Crane and Post 2 Councilman Quincy Holton against Jason Evans.

Three weeks of advance voting for the city election will be held 8 a.m.-5p.m. on weekdays between Oct. 16 and Nov. 3. All voting will take place at City Hall.

Forsyth County will not be holding an election to replace former District 2 Commissioner Rick Swope, who stepped down in August to accept an executive position with E-Trade, since only Dennis Brown, a south Forsyth resident and retired U.S. Army Colonel, qualified for the seat in September.