Two candidates are running to lead the Fulton County commission. CASEY SYKES / CASEY.SYKES@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO
Photo: Casey Sykes
Photo: Casey Sykes

Repeat race for Fulton commission; two vie to be Alpharetta mayor

Once again, for the role of chair of the Fulton County commission, it’s Keisha Waites vs. Robb Pitts.

Pitts won the matchup in December, when Waites, a former state representative, faced him in a runoff. This time, she said, she thinks she has a better chance at winning.

Both candidates are Democrats, and the race for a full, four-year will be decided in a May primary ahead of the November general election. Waites said without Republican voters in the mix, she thinks she’ll take the edge. Pitts, she said, has reneged on promises he made to residents in the three months he’s been at the helm of county government.

Property assessments are still a problem, Waites said, and residents in the new city of South Fulton haven’t gotten the support they need.

“We are desperately in need of leadership,” Waites said. “The lives of Fulton County residents have not changed under his leadership.”

Pitts, a former county commissioner and Atlanta City Council president, said he is working to fix the assessment issue, as well as reduce the jail population. He said he offers a “strong, steady hand” at the helm.

“I think my experience and qualifications and leadership skills are needed more than ever at this point in time,” he said. “I hit the ground running.”

The other county commissioners up for re-election — Liz Hausmann in District 1, Lee Morris in District 3 and Marvin Arrington in District 5 — will not have challengers in their races.

But there will be a race for chief magistrate judge, where the incumbent, Cassandra Kirk, will face attorney Louis Levenson.

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In Alpharetta, former council members Jim Gilvin and Christopher Owens will face off to be mayor of the city, after David Belle Isle resigned to run for secretary of state. The winner will finish the 4-year term that ends in 2019.

There will be races, too, for the two council seats: Elisabeth Daniel Harding and Karen A. Richard will square off for the remainder of the term in Post 3, which ends in 2021, while John D. Hipes and Clifford Martin are running for the rest of the Post 4 term, which ends in 2019.

Harding, who goes by Katie, moved to Georgia to help launch the Verizon Amphitheatre. Richard is vice chairman of the Alpharetta planning commission. Hipes is a law partner of Belle Isle, the former mayor, and Martin is a retired director of information technology.

There is also an at-large city council race in Fairburn, where Linda J. Davis, Audrey J. Horn and James Sumners will be vying to fill the remainder of a term that expires in 2019. The post has been vacant since last year, when Elizabeth Carr-Hurst resigned the seat to run for mayor. She won that race.

And two people are running to be district supervisor of soil and water conservation. Incumbent Walter S. Rekuc, Jr., a construction project manager, will face riverkeeper Jason Robert Ulseth.

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