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Special Election to be Held Nov. 6

The special election to fill the unexpired term of former Gwinnett commissioner Shirley Lasseter will be conducted the same day as the General Election.

Nov. 6, the same day as the 2012 General Election, has been decided as the date for a special election to fill the unexpired term of former Gwinnett County commissioner Shirley Lasseter, according to Joe Sorenson, communications director for the county government.

Candidate qualifying dates for the special election to fill the District 1 seat on the commission have not yet been determined, Sorenson told Patch late Monday.

Lasseter resigned May 31 after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to accepting bribes in exchange for her support of a proposed development in her district. The District 1 commission term expires on Dec. 31, 2012.

Because Lasseter resigned with more than 180 days left in her term, a replacement to complete her term cannot be appointed. A special election must be held.

Lasseter had announced in February 2012 that she would not seek re-election to a second four-year term on the commission. District 1 includes Duluth and Suwanee.

Former Suwanee City Council member Jace Brooks and Suwanee accountant Laurie McClain, a Duluth resident, have qualified to run for the District 1 commission position in the July 31 Republican Primary. Since there is no Democratic opposition, the winner of that race would be decided in the primary and would take office in January 2013. Qualifying dates for the primary were May 23-25.

It’s not possible to hold the special election before the primary, Sorenson said. “We need time for programming the special election,” he said.

Sorenson explained that the election for the District 1 post in the July 31 Primary will involve voters in the new district based on boundaries redrawn by the Georgia General Assembly as a result of the 2010 Census. Residents of the old district would vote in the Nov. 6 special election, he said.

“There’s a lot of overlap, but there’s a difference” in the old and new districts, Sorenson said.

Both Brooks and McClain have expressed interest in running in the special election. Brooks indicated he would do so if he won the primary.

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