Ahrens on Monday qualified to run for the Republican nomination for the seat. His opponent, Cherokee County Development Authority Vice Chair Jackie Archer, qualified on Tuesday.
The primary will be held on Tuesday, May 20.
“This position allows me to bring all of my experience to bear in one place, at one time to make Cherokee the best it can be," he said in a press release. "We have accomplished a lot over the last few years and we are positioned to do even greater things."
Ahrens was first elected in November 2006 when he defeated incumbent Mike Byrd and was re-elected without opposition in November 2010.
During his tenure, the chairman touts many successes in Cherokee County, such as the creation of more than 3,000 jobs; increasing funding for economic development by 140 percent; launching the voter-backed parks bond initiative; achieving the rank as the 2nd lowest in tax burden per capita in the Atlanta region; and bringing online new public safety facilities and enhanced training for Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services, the Cherokee Sheriff's Office and Marshal's and E-911 offices.
Ahrens serves on the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority and is a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission's Executive Committee, Association County Commissioners of Georgia's Pension Board of Trustees Cherokee County Board of Health, Metro North Georgia Water Planning District and the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition.
Before retiring to Cherokee County in 2000, Ahrens spent a long career establishing consumer product markets around the world. The Ahrens family lived more than 17 years in Brazil, Hong Kong and Belgium. He retired as senior vice president-international at Rubbermaid, Inc., a position in which he reported directly to the company's chairman of the board.
Ahrens graduated in 1965 with a liberal arts degree from Yale University and graduated with a master's in business administration in 1970 from George Washington University — which he received while on active military duty.
He served in the U.S. Navy between 1966 and 1969, and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
Ahrens played lacrosse at the Division I collegiate level and on numerous club teams across the country for 37 years. He also played 15 years of rugby, including as a member of the Brazilian National Team.
He and wife Joan have been married for 49 years and have four children and four grandchildren.