A Guide To Municipal And Special Elections In Metro Atlanta

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide key races in metro Atlanta.
Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide key races in metro Atlanta.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press file
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On Tuesday, residents of Atlanta will elect a new mayor, a new City Council president, 15 City Council members and nine education board members. In addition, all 10 of Atlanta’s municipal court judges have filed for retention, and DeKalb and Fulton counties are hosting special elections to fill the terms of officials who have either resigned from their positions or have died.

Mayor of Atlanta

The mayor of Atlanta is the city’s official representative, says atlantaga.gov. The mayor will be responsible for the general management of the city, making sure laws are enforced, appointing department heads, appointing individuals to serve on advisory boards and presenting an annual budget for the City Council’s approval.

Two of the candidates who appear on the ballot have dropped out of the mayoral race, but those who are still running are listed below. Read more about each candidate here or click on an individual name to read the candidate’s profile and listen to the interview on WABE’s “Closer Look with Rose Scott.”

Laban King and Michael T. Sterling have dropped out of the mayoral race, but their names still appear on the ballot.

City Council President

Mayoral candidate Ceasar Mitchell currently serves as Atlanta’s City Council president. His job is to preside at all City Council meetings and to vote if there is a tie, according to the City Council website. The City Council president also appoints chairs and committee members, who can be rejected by a majority of the City Council. The City Council president can step in for the mayor if there is a vacancy of the office or a disability to the mayor. The City Council president is paid $62,000 a year.

Here are the candidates running for City Council president:

  • C.T. Martin
  • Felicia Moore
  • Alex Wan

Atlantans will vote for an additional 15 seats in City Council, including three at-large posts and 12 district seats.

Atlanta Public Schools

Nine district seats are available with Atlanta Public School’s Board of Education. According to the board’s policy manual, a large part of a board member’s job is to address community concerns. Overall, the board “establishes and approves the policies that govern the Atlanta Public School System,” its website says.

District 1 candidates:

  • Leslie Grant (Incumbent)
  • Ade Oguntoye

District 2 candidates:

  • Byron Amos (Incumbent)
  • Tony Burks
  • Keisha Carey

District 3 candidates:

  • Adzua Agyapon
  • Lewis Cartee
  • Michelle Olympiadis
  • Antoine Trammell
  • Rashida Winfrey

District 4 candidate:

  • Nancy Meister (Incumbent)

District 5 candidates (absent from DeKalb County ballot):

  • D’Jaris “DJ” James
  • Raynard Johnson
  • Jatisha Marsh
  • Erika Yvette Mitchell
  • Bobby K. Montgomery
  • Jackye Rhodes

District 6 candidates (absent from DeKalb County ballot):

  • Eshe’ Collins (Incumbent)
  • Patreece Hutcherson
  • Donta A. McMichael
  • Valrie Walker Sanders

District 7 At-Large candidates:

  • Patricia “Granny P” Crayton
  • Nathaniel Borrell Dyer
  • Kandis Wood Jackson
  • Micah A. Rowland
  • John Wright

District 8 At-Large candidates:

  • Cynthia Briscoe Brown (Incumbent)
  • Charlie Stadtlander
  • Ben Stone

District 9 At-Large candidate:

  • Jason Esteves (Incumbent)

Atlanta Municipal Court

Atlanta Municipal Court judges serve four-year terms, and they must file with the municipal court if they want to serve another term, according to the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances.

All 10 of Atlanta’s municipal judges have served full terms and filed for retention this year. On the ballot, voters can either choose “Yes” to retain the judge or “No, against retention.” Here are the judges that have filed for retention:

  • Ardra L. Bey
  • JaDawnya C. Butler
  • Leigh M. DuPre
  • Crystal A. Gaines
  • Calvin S. Graves
  • Terrinee L. Gundy
  • Gary E. Jackson
  • Christopher T. Portis
  • Herman L. Sloan
  • Christopher E. Ward

You can learn more about each judge by reading their bios on the Atlanta Municipal Court’s website.

Special Elections

Earlier this year, Joan P. Garner, Fulton County commissioner from District 4, died after battling cancer, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

These candidates are running to fill her unexpired term:

  • Eddie Lee Brewster
  • Kathryn Flowers
  • Natalie Hall
  • Steven D. Lee
  • Reese McCranie
  • Josh McNair

Fulton County residents will elect a new Fulton County Commission chairperson at-large to replace John H. Eaves, who resigned to run for mayor of Atlanta.

Here are the candidates running to fill Eaves’ unexpired term:

  • Robb Pitts (Democrat)
  • Gabriel Sterling (Republican)
  • Keisha Sean Waites (Democrat)

In August, state Sen. Hunter Hill of the 6th District resigned to run for governor of Georgia, the AJC reported. Here are the candidates vying to complete his unexpired term:

  • Leah Aldridge (Republican)
  • Matt Bently (Republican)
  • Kathy Eichenblatt (Republican)
  • Charlie Fiveash (Republican)
  • Jaha Howard (Democrat)
  • Jen Jordan (Democrat)
  • Leo Smith (Republican)
  • Taos Wynn (Democrat)

These candidates are running to replace former state Sen. Vincent Fort of the 39th District. Fort resigned to run for mayor of Atlanta, the AJC reported:

  • Nick Carlson (Republican)
  • Marckeith DeJesus (Democrat)
  • Linda Pritchett (Democrat)
  • Elijah Tutt (Democrat)
  • Nikema Williams (Democrat)

In September, former state Rep. Keisha Waites from the 60th District resigned. Waites resigned to run for chairperson of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Three Democrats are running for her position in the Georgia General Assembly:

  • Sparkle Adams (Democrat)
  • De’Andre S. Pickett (Democrat)
  • Kim Schofield (Democrat)

Former state Rep. Stacey Abrams from the 89th District resigned from her position in August to run for governor of Georgia, the AJC reported. Four Democrats are running for her position in the Georgia General Assembly:

  • David C. Abbott (Democrat)
  • Monique Keane (Democrat)
  • Bee Nguyen (Democrat)
  • Sachin Varghese (Democrat)

DeKalb County Taxes

On Tuesday, DeKalb County residents can vote for or against an Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax (EHOST) to replace the current Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST). DeKalb County says that 100 percent of EHOST will be used to reduce the property tax for homeowners and rollback millage rates. However, the proposed tax would raise the county’s total sales tax from 7 percent to 8 percent, WABE reporter Tasnim Shamma reported in September.

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