Swiney enters county chairman race

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A local real estate broker has entered the county race for chairman.

Timothy Swiney, who lost a primary race for a state House district earlier this year, said he will qualify for the chairman's race, which is set for March 15 after the resignation of incumbent Charles Bannister.

"Integrity is the willingness to do what is right, even when if you think no one is watching," Swiney said in a press release. "It is clear from recent events that this quality has been lacking in our elected officials for many years. It is time to look outside the political elite and find new leadership for our county."

Swiney said Bannister's resignation, the indictment of Commissioner Kevin Kenerly and controversies over property taxes and trash are causing residents to demand a change in leadership.

"We need leadership that understands economic stability and quality of life are as important to Gwinnett's residents as economic growth," he said. "Stability and growth can co-exist without sacrificing our quality of life or sacrificing property values."

While qualifying will be held next month, a number of people -- from Suwanee Mayor Dave Williams to Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District Director Chuck Warbington and businessman David Post -- have expressed interest in the job.

"It's going to be a very tough race with a lot of familiar names. Unfortunately, the growing list of potential candidates primarily includes the usual suspects: political insiders and allies of disgraced board members who are feeding at the trough of large developers," Swiney said. "This election will come down to whether voters want new leadership, or just a different face with the same agenda. You can't reach into a barrel of rotten apples and expect to pull out a peach, so it's time to look outside the political elite for leadership."