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POLITICAL: NOTEBOOK: GOP prepares for election season with new office

For members of the GOP pained by the outcome of the 2008 election and hoping to build on recent momentum, 2010 is a big election year.

Add to that national intrigue the landscape of a local scene where two county commissioners and two local representatives have said they won't seek re-election, creating a scramble for politicians to get into the races.

This weekend, the Gwinnett Republican Party is opening a local office to prepare for the upcoming season.

"The 2010 election is so critically important," said Gwinnett GOP Chairman Chuck Efstration. "With this headquarters office, we will have a new location to provide Gwinnett voters with candidate information and give Republican volunteers an opportunity to get involved in this election."

The headquarters is located at 46 S. Clayton St. in Lawrenceville.

Headlining Saturday's grand opening, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon, are U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Duluth, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

Local ballots, so far

According to the latest declarations of intent filed with the Gwinnett Elections Office, the District 4 race has caused the most action among candidates.

The race for Kevin Kenerly's seat includes Republicans Tommy Hunter, Ron Silver, Tim Sullivan and former Rep. John Heard, while Mark Anthony Williams of Snellville is running as a Democrat. No party affiliation is listed for Ronne G. Haag of Lawrenceville.

For District 2, where Bert Nasuti is stepping down, Democrat Robert Lee Byars III will face either Lynette Howard, State School Board member Jose Perez or former Norcross Councilman Keith Shewbert.

In the 2010 race for solicitor general, currently held by Rosanna Szabo, Ronda C. Leary has placed her hat in the ring.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.