Democrats, incumbents qualify to run for Gwinnett commission seats


Thus far, a total of three Democrats have qualified to run for what may be hotly contested Gwinnett County commission seats, officials confirmed.

Candidate qualifying for state and local offices began Monday and lasts until noon Friday. Two of Gwinnett’s five commission seats are up for election this fall.

More from subscriber site myAJC.com: At least five Republican Gwinnett legislators vacating their seats.

Officials confirmed that Democrats Ben Ku and Desmond Nembhard both submitted paperwork Monday in the race for Gwinnett Commission District 2, a diverse district that covers much of western Gwinnett, including the Norcross, Peachtree Corners and Lilburn areas. 

Ku, Nembhard and any other qualifying Democrats would compete in a May primary. The winner would face Republican incumbent Lynette Howard in November’s election.

Howard qualified this week to pursue a third term.

Ku, a software consultant, is a Georgia Tech graduate, a former homeowner’s association president and a Gwinnett 101 Citizens Academy alum.  He describes himself as “committed to bringing rapid transit” and other transportation improvements to Gwinnett County.

Nembhard is a local restaurateur. 

Officials confirmed that Democrats Marlene Fosque Greg McKeithen had qualified to run for Gwinnett Commission District 4, the other county commission seat up for grabs this fall. 

Incumbent Republican John Heard has qualified to run as well.

A few candidates for other local offices have also qualified.

They included local attorneys Lance Tyler and Ronda Colvin Leary, who both qualified to run for the Gwinnett state court judge seat being vacated by Joseph Iannazzone. 

Tracie Cason, a deputy chief assistant district attorney, qualified to run for the Superior Court judge seat currently held by Debra Turner. Wesley Person, a local defense attorney, qualified for the same seat.

Jon Setzer, a senior assistant district attorney, qualified to run for the Superior Court judge seat currently occupied by Tom Davis. Local attorney Veronica Cope also qualified to run. 

All of those races are non-partisan.

Democrat Brian Whiteside qualified to run for Gwinnett’s solicitor general, as did incumbent Republican Rosanna Szabo.

This story will update as more candidates qualify.

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