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City elections put on hold
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With just one candidate qualifying for a city council seat, the City of Dawsonville will not be holding an election to fill the recently-appointed seat in March.

"Pursuant to O.C.G.A. [section] 21-2-291, notice is hereby given that the City of Dawsonville, Municipal Special Election scheduled for March 17, 2015, is canceled," said Dawson County Election Superintendent Glenda Ferguson in an advertisement placed in local news media.

According to section of Georgia law for dealing with unopposed candidates, "in the event there is no opposed candidate in a precinct in a special or general election, no special or general election shall be held in such precinct unless a write-in candidate has qualified as provided by law or unless there are issues to be submitted to the electorate.

"The candidate will be assumed to have voted for him or herself, making the sole runner the winner."

"This [decision] is required by state law," said City Attorney Dana Miles. "There will be another election for this same position in November 2015 for a new term to begin Jan. 1, 2016."

The appointment and qualifying comes after former City Councilman Chris Gaines resigned his position in November due to moving out of city limits.

Gaines' seat is currently being held by Caleb Phillips, who was sworn in for the temporary appointment in December.

Phillips previously served on the council as an appointed member when he was selected to fill a seat left open by current-mayor James Grogan and former city councilman Calvin Byrd when both stepped down to run for mayor upon the death of former Mayor Joe Lane Cox.

"I've enjoyed serving on the council both times I was appointed," Phillips said. "A lot of people encouraged me to run, so I did. As a resident of the city, what happens here is important to me, so I want to do what I can to make it a better place."