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Two head for county commission
2Electionalt
Pete Amos and wife Catherine celebrate his election to the Forsyth County commission on Tuesday night at Rooster's Cafe in Cumming. - photo by Autumn McBride

Note
The vote totals for the races for Forsyth County commission and school board are lower than those of other races because they featured the new district-only election format approved last year by the state.

The setup, which voters supported in a July 2008 referendum, meant voting for the post was limited to residents of the particular district. Previously, candidates had to live in their district, but were elected countywide.

District 1 includes some of Cumming and much of western Forsyth, while District 3 covers the county's southwestern corner. District 2 is made up of much of south Forsyth.

The new faces of the Forsyth County commission celebrated together while watching the election results roll in Tuesday night.

Pete Amos, the Republican candidate for District 1, won the post over Democrat Mary Chatfield.

Amos will succeed current Commissioner Charles Laughinghouse, who decided not to seek a third term.

Amos received about 85 percent of the total, or 7,150 votes, to about 15 percent, or 1,208 votes, for Chatfield.

"I'm looking forward to working with the commissioner-elect and the other commissioners in getting our county moving forward," Amos said.

The other commissioner-elect is in District 3, where Todd Levent essentially secured the seat in the Republican primary when he defeated incumbent Jim Harrell in an August runoff.

No Democrat ran for the seat in the General Election.

Amos and Levent will join the commission in January.

The two men met up Tuesday night during a GOP election night gathering at Rooster's Cafe in Cumming, where several other familiar Forsyth faces came to support the county's future leaders.

"We just wanted to show unity, that we all could get along," Amos said. "We're all working for the betterment of one county."

Levent also expressed the importance that the commission "work in harmony and get more done."

He has begun digging deep into county government by meeting with department heads and attending private executive sessions, a task Amos said he's also excited to get started with.

Chatfield said she thought Amos "would strive to do a very good job."

"He's a successful businessman," she said. "I'm sure he will do his best to represent District 1 on the county commission."

This year was Forsyth County's first in which local posts were elected by district-only voting.

Chatfield said she liked the idea of the more representative voting process, but it also kept some of her supporters from being able to cast votes for her.

In a primarily conservative county, Chatfield was not surprised by the results, but hoped they would be encouraging to another set of voters.

"I think it let people know that there are some Democrats out here," she said.