Qualifying ends with stream of new candidates
by Joshua Sharpe
March 08, 2014 04:00 AM | 3148 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The final hours of qualifying for the May 20 primary saw a rush of new candidates joining the races for Cherokee County’s local and state seats, but some incumbents are set to sail back into office without any challengers.

As the five-day qualifying period ended Friday at noon, several new candidates had joined what had been, for the first four days, a light field of mostly unopposed incumbents in the partisan and non-partisan races.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners and School Board will see the most competition in May, with the seven available seats on those boards all having multiple candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the November general election. All the candidates to sign on for Cherokee County’s local and state seats are Republicans.

For the chairman’s seat on the Board of Commissioners, sitting Chairman Buzz Ahrens is going up against former Holly Springs City Councilwoman Jackie Archer. Ahrens is seeking an unprecedented third term in office.

Longtime District 1 Commissioner Harry Johnston is facing off against challenger Steven West of Ball Ground.

Three candidates joined the contest to replace Commissioner Jason Nelms in the District 4 seat on the Board of Commissioners.

Nelms announced Friday morning he would not seek a second term because of growth in his business. He endorsed Woodstock Planning Commission member Kenneth Scott Gordon, who is going up against former Cherokee Commissioner Larry

In the meantime, Nelms said he is supporting Gordon, a 48-year-old Woodstock architect.

“I think Scott Gordon’s going to be a great asset,” Nelms said. “I’m definitely going to endorse Scott. He’s just a good person overall.”

Gordon is going up against former Cherokee Commissioner Larry Singleton, a 55-year-old Woodstock business owner, and Joseph Robert, a 52-year-old Woodstock business owner. All three candidates qualified to seek the seat as Republicans, with no candidates from other parties joining in the race.

Gordon said in his years as an architect he has had the opportunity to work on projects that have helped Cherokee County and other communities in Georgia.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the county, in a different capacity, to provide leadership for all the great things poised to happen in our community over the next four years,” he said in a news release Friday.

Robert said he was driven to help his community and he joined the race so the people would have more choice than only Nelms’ endorsed candidate.

“I know it’s going to be a tight field but my passion is for the county,” said Robert, who owns an automotive repair shop in Woodstock. “I live here and have owned a business here. I’ve got a couple of pet peeves that I want to try to get answers to.”

Singleton, who was on the commission more than a decade ago, said in a statement to supporters Friday he hoped to serve the county again.

“As I have over the past, I will continue to gladly serve you in any capacity,” he said in the statement.

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