The City of Suwanee is governed by a Mayor and five (5) Councilmembers, who each run for a specific post but are elected by a city-wide majority vote. City elections are non-partisan (i.e., candidates do not run as members of a particular political party, and their individual party affiliations are not relevant to their position in City government.) Elected officials serve for a term of four (4) years and until their respective successors are elected and sworn in. Terms begin January 1 after the general election.
In order to run for mayor or City Council, candidates must:
- Be a City of Suwanee resident for at least 180 days prior to qualifying
- Continue to reside in the City throughout their period of service
- Be qualified to vote in municipal elections.
The Mayor and City Council determine policies, enact legislation and provide political leadership in the community. There are normally two (2) scheduled monthly meetings which are held in the evening. In addition to the regularly scheduled meetings, there are additional requirements of varying times and frequency including, but not limited to, budget meetings, homeowners association meetings, Gwinnett Municipal Association meetings, appointed board meetings, constituent engagements, annual retreats, and annual conferences and training. Some of these meetings are held during typical business hours, nights, and weekends; certain meetings may last multiple days and require overnight stay (typically 2-3 times annually).
Please review the materials provided for qualifying to run for office in the November 5, 2019 General Election. This November, municipal voters will elect three seats of City Council (Mayor, Post 1 and Post 2). The City of Suwanee City Clerk, Elvira Rogers, will serve as the “Qualifying Officer” and will be the person to receive your Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit.
Qualifying will be held at Suwanee City Hall, 330 Town Center Avenue, beginning Monday, August 19, 2019 at 8:30 am and close Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 4:30 pm. The qualifying fee for Mayor is $450.00 and each Council post is $270.00.
Items to complete and return to the City DURING the qualifying period:
- Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit (to be provided at qualifying)
- Payment of Qualifying fee (cash, check or money order)
Make check or money order payable to: City of Suwanee
Once qualifying closes, all candidate names and the posts they are seeking will be posted on the City website. Please be aware that newspapers will generally request this information and publish it as well. Please provide email address information and advise us whether this information is permitted to be listed on our website so that voters may also contact you directly.
The following reference materials are provided for your information:
- City Charter
- City of Suwanee Political Sign Policy
- State Required Training for Newly Elected Officials (to be provided at qualifying)
Online resources and references
It is the responsibility of the candidate to be familiar with and comply with all campaign-related laws, rules, and regulations. There are several important documents and deadlines pertaining to all candidates for public office. Failure to adhere to the policies and filings as required by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (GGTCFC) may result in monetary fines.
Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR) – In 2019, the report must be filed on the following dates and may not be filed prior to the due date:
September 30 – CCDR must be filed between Sept 30th – Oct 7th
October 25 – CCDR must be filed between Oct 25th – Nov 1st
December 31 – CCDR must be filed between Dec 31, 2019- Jan 8, 2020
All candidates must file reports, regardless of whether any money was raised or spent. The CCDR is filed with the City Clerk.
Affidavit of Candidate’s Intent Not to Exceed $2500 in Contributions and/or Expenditures - This document is filed with the City Clerk.
Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) – Only incumbents must file a Personal Financial Disclosure. This report is to be filed with the City Clerk within 15 days of qualifying or significant fines will be imposed.
Form DOI (Declaration of Intent) - If you are currently not a public officer holding elective office and you plan to run for public office, you must file a DOI prior to accepting campaign contributions. (This simply means a DOI is filed by a brand new candidate, not by someone already in office because he/she would have already filed one when he/she was considered a new candidate.) However, if the candidate is running for a different office, then he/she is a brand new candidate for that office and a DOI is required. The information from the DOI is utilized to establish an account for the filer within the GGTCFC database. The Form DOI is filed with the City Clerk.
Form RC (Registration of Candidate Campaign Committee) - Candidates are not required to have a campaign committee. However, if a candidate forms a campaign committee, the candidate must register the committee with the GGTCFC prior to accepting any contributions. No contribution may be accepted at any time there is a vacancy in either the position of chairman or treasurer. One person may serve as both chairperson and treasurer. No candidate may have more than one committee. The Form RC is filed with the GGTCFC.
Form COOSA - A candidate who wishes to accept contributions for more than one election at a time shall separately account for such campaign contributions and shall file an “Option to Choose Separate Accounting” form with the GGTCFC prior to accepting contributions for any election other than the next upcoming election and ONLY IF contributions are to be accepted for more than one election at a time. If this option is chosen, a separate bank account MAY be opened for each election. A candidate is only required to file one COOSA form which is used for all subsequent elections to the same elective office, regardless of whether an election occurs in a new election cycle.
There are references and documents that are important reading for the Georgia Public Official. All candidates should familiarize themselves with:
- Constitution of the State of Georgia
- City of Suwanee Charter
- Rules & Regulations of the State Election Board
- Handbook for Georgia Mayors and Councilmembers published by Betty J. Hudson and Paul T. Hardy in conjunction with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government
- Georgia Ethics in Government Act
- Georgia Election Code - click Candidate Information tab
Please note: It is the responsibility of the candidate to identify the appropriate statutes required for the candidacy process. Qualifying Officer responsibilities include providing candidates with information needed to comply with the various election regulations and answering questions about the election itself and the city and its regulations. Please contact Elvira Rogers at 770-904-3376 for more information.