Early voting may have wrapped up Friday, but those who live in Forsyth County’s 24th state House district have two more days to make their decision on who they want as their next representative.
Four candidates will face off on Tuesday for the already-vacant legislative seat left open by longtime incumbent Mark Hamilton, who moved to Tennessee for a job opportunity.
Polls are open to anyone who lives in District 24, which spans Cumming and parts of north and west Forsyth, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. in various locations throughout the district.
If votes result in a runoff, a second election will take place on July 14, with the new representative holding the post for the remaining 18 months of Hamilton’s term – he was re-elected in 2014.
Here’s a glance at the candidates who will be on the ballot Tuesday.
Occupation: Current teacher at Lanier Technical College, former CIA analyst and Navy veteran
Forsyth County history: Gilligan was born and raised in Forsyth County, having living 31 of her 52 years here.
Personal information: She graduated from Forsyth County High School in 1981 before attending the University of Georgia. She and her husband, Patrick, will celebrate 24 years of marriage this fall. They have four adult daughters and two grandsons and are active members at First Redeemer Church.
Why I should be your representative: “As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, CIA analyst, Lanier Tech instructor and a substitute teacher for Forsyth County, I understand the impact that higher taxes and government intervention has on our daily lives. I will stand up for the 2nd Amendment, religious freedoms and the rights of the individual. I will work to protect life, and I will never vote to raise taxes.”
Occupation: Insurance agent in the family business
Forsyth County history: Kremer has lived in Forsyth County for four years
Personal information: More than a decade ago, Kremer’s family started a company in the basement of their Forsyth County home to help commercial truck drivers navigate government regulations in the transportation industry. Since the company’s inception, they have started numerous businesses in Cumming revolving around the transportation industry. Kremer’s father is a minister of 30 years and a veteran.
Why I should be your representative: “Announcing we need to fix transportation is politics as usual. Providing a solution is called leadership. My campaign is focused on bringing conservative solutions to the House of Representatives. My background in small business will bring common-sense fiscal solutions to Atlanta. I am the only candidate who will fight to implement Six Sigma into the Department of Transportation to ensure money is spent effectively and efficiently. It is increasingly apparent with each conversation I have with Forsyth County families that we must promote conservative solutions.
David Van Sant
Occupation: Attorney and owner of Van Sant Law LLC
Forsyth County history: Van Sant moved to Forsyth County 15 years ago
Personal information: Van Sant is a constitutional conservative republican who believes in personal responsibility and individual liberty. He is a local small business owner with an office in downtown Cumming. As a proud sportsman, he enjoys spending time outdoors hunting alongside his kids. He and his wife, Carol, reside in Cumming with their three children, Ashley, 13, Davis, 11, and Caroline 9 – all of whom attend Forsyth public schools. The Van Sants worship at Mountain Lake Community Church.
Why I should be your representative: “I am endorsed by conservative talk show host Erick Erickson. He believes in being very transparent and available to voters. I ask anyone who has questions about me or my campaign to call me on my cell phone at (404) 430-9108. I am also a strong proponent of a Georgia FairTax, term limits for all politicians, am pro-life, oppose Common Core, support responsible growth in Forsyth and believe we should do more for our military and veterans.”
Occupation: Attorney and partner at Miles Hansford & Tallant LLC
Forsyth County history: Underwood has lived in Forsyth County since 2003, though his family history dates back to 1836
Personal information: Growing up in Chattanooga, Tenn., Underwood has been married for 17 years and has four children with his wife.
Why I should be your representative: “In my private life I am a real estate attorney. I fight property taxes, and I work to build projects that benefit the county. In that work, I work with homeowners, neighbors, government employees and elected officials to develop coalitions and agreements that work for everyone. Candidly, I’m really good at it, and I’m the only candidate who has the technical know-how to deal with roads, schools, water issues and economic development. I want to take those skills down to Atlanta to work for my neighbors and our county to bring our infrastructure up to speed and position us for the future.”
*The same questions were asked to each candidate, though some information may have been cut or edited to conform to the space.