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Patch Analysis: Brookhaven's City Council Runoffs

Brookhaven's three remaining city council seats will be decided one week from now. Here's our take on the runoffs.


On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Brookhaven residents head to the polls once again to choose the new city’s first mayor, and also complete the election of its first city council.

On Monday, Patch analyzed the mayoral runoff. Here is our look at the three city council races that will be decided one week from today:

DISTRICT 1

On Nov. 6, Rebecca Chase Williams finished the race with a commanding 45 percent of the vote in a five-candidate race. Her closest competitor, Kevin Fitzpatrick, tallied 19 percent of the vote.

Williams won all four of District 1’s precincts. Her closest margin of victory came in the smallest precinct, Kittredge Brookhaven, where she finished with 38 percent of the vote, compared to Fitzpatrick’s 31 percent.

Williams has also been endorsed by third-place finisher Alan Cole, who fell 50 votes short of making the runoff himself.

Both candidates are well-financed. Williams has raised more than $31,000 for her campaign, while Fitzpatrick has raised more than $21,000, according to data from recent filings.

Unlike other campaigns this year, the issue over whether Brookhaven should have become a city in the first place, isn’t lingering in District 1. Brookhaven’s northernmost district was one of the birthplaces of the cityhood movement, and the community voted strongly in favor of cityhood on July 31.

More than 5,700 voters turned out on Nov. 6, representing 36 percent of all votes cast in Brookhaven on that day.

Our take: Nothing has happened to make Patch believe that Williams has lost any of her Nov. 6 mojo.

DISTRICT 3

If anyone shirks their electoral duty with the excuse that one vote doesn’t make a difference, tell them to look at this race. Only 10 votes separated first-place finisher Bates Mattison and Kevin Quirk.

This was Brookhaven’s most crowded race, with nine candidates seeking the position. So far there’s been only one endorsement; third-place finisher Deborah Anthony endorsed Quirk shortly after the election.

Quirk won three of District 3’s five precincts, including the all-important Silver Lake precinct, where 49 percent of the district’s overall votes were cast. Quirk won the precinct, 28 percent to Mattison’s 19 percent.

If Anthony’s endorsement means anything at all, it may come in the Briarwood and Brookhaven precincts, where she finished second behind Mattison, and in the Ashford-Dunwoody Road precinct, where she came in second behind Quirk. She also finished second in the Cross Keys High precinct, which another candidate, Julia Russo, won.

Our take: A toss up. It’s anybody’s guess. But don’t be surprised if the margin of victory is as razor thin as Nov. 6.

DISTRICT 4

Joe Gebbia finished first in this race on Nov. 6, winning 40 percent of the vote, compared to Karen Lord’s 34 percent. Kerry Witt finished in third, with 26 percent.

Gebbia won three of District 4’s precincts: Briarwood, Cross Keys High and Woodward Elementary. Lord won the Montclair Elementary precinct.

Gebbia seems to have a much higher profile than Lord. During Monday night's Brookhaven runoff debate, Lord was the only candidate who was not in attendance, or have a representative present.

Nonetheless, Lord defeated Witt - who was endorsed by the Atlanta Board of Realtors and had a higher media presence - with a strong, door-to-door campaign organization. 

District 4 had the lowest turnout of any other Brookhaven race on Nov. 6, with 2,068 votes cast. It also has Brookhaven's highest concentration of Hispanic residents and the most Buford Highway frontage of any city council district.

Our take: Leaning Gebbia, if only on the surface. But watch out for a possible strong showing from Lord, even enough to win the seat.

Related Items:

Police, Zoning, Hispanic Outreach Among Topics In Brookhaven Runoff Debate.

District 2: The Wild Card In Brookhaven's Mayoral Runoff?

Brookhaven Runoffs: Who Has Your Support?

Your Complete Guide To Brookhaven Elections.

Crowded Brookhaven City Council Races Result In Runoffs.

Shemin DeVille November 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Oops. Repost. Typo. It's nice to see some attention paid to the council person races. After all these will be the people running the city. Not the Mayor. I understand that the forum last night was well attended but Lord and Mattison were no shows. I asked a neighbor who went and he said that he had heard that Mattison and Lord may be dropping out ... or not seeing it through to the end. However you want to phrase it. I still see a lot of signs for them around. Curious if Patch can comment in that.
Joe The Plumber November 27, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Shemin, As a supporter of Karen Lord, I have seen no evidence that she is not in the race any longer. Watch out for her. She's the December surprise! Gebbia said last night that he was asked to run by Mike Jacobs. Not si sure he should have said that. Jacobs is under fire for a number of things right now and that could hurt Joe. But it could also be good for my candidate, Karen Lord. I just had a thought, I'm a busy guy, and seem to find some time here and there to get informed and attend meetings. What are we all going to do December 5th? Perhaps we can be neighbors once again. Might be a good thing to focus on. Less on the politicians, more on becoming a strong community. THEN we can get things done and hold ALL of the power. IMHO.
Roger That November 27, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Anyone who votes for someone who was against the city or the city vote is a traitor and should move.
Albie Alright November 27, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Roger, You are too funny. Do I have the right to vote for anyone I want to?
Jack of Kings November 28, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Joe-- I never heard Gebbia say anything about Mike Jacobs. Unbelieveable. Never happened.
Jack of Kings November 28, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Bates Mattison is still running. A quick e-mail and return response would have quickly informed anyone of the facts. It really is not fair to either Lord or Mattison to try to undercut their campaign.
Filltheshill November 28, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Sir, you were there and you heard what I heard. Gebbia said Jacobs encouraged him to run for office. Please stop lying! Unbelievable that you would LIE ABOUT WHAT YOU HEARD!
Filltheshill November 28, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Did you ask Bates Mattison about any financial issues he may have? Has he made his financial disclosure? Did you ask him?
Eddie E. November 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM
An expression of just the mentality so many of us voted AGAINST! What other things do you 'believe' that subjugates other individuals rights to self-determination?
Roger That November 28, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Closed on the new house on Monday. It's over by Dresden outside any city limits. Ya'll have fun with your new hive of debacle. lol!
Jack of Kings November 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Hey, Angry Man (Filtheshill), I was expecting you to ask him instead of posting insinuations. Waiting for you do to some work and get back to us. Thanks in advance.
Eric H November 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Actually it sounded like he was speaking of the email Mike Jacobs sent to his entire list that encouraged and gave information about qualifying for a council position. It wasn't a one on one encouragement. Its in the 2nd video the Patch has up. I agree in light of the district he is running in he probably should have been clearer on that statement.

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