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Qualifying Day 3: Decatur elections set, no new candidates in Avondale Estates and Tucker

Avondale Estates campaign coverage Decatur Metro ATL Tucker

Qualifying Day 3: Decatur elections set, no new candidates in Avondale Estates and Tucker

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File Photo courtesy of Dena Mellick


Editor’s note: Reader support is essential to helping us cover local races in the Nov. 5 municipal elections. If you aren’t a subscriber, you can support us for as little as $3 a month. To learn more about subscribing, click here.

During qualifying week, Aug. 19 through Aug. 23, Decaturish will post daily updates about candidates who have qualified to run in local elections. There will be a full recap of all the candidates running in Decatur, Avondale Estates and Tucker once qualifying ends. There will be ongoing coverage of each race through Nov. 5.

To see all of our stories related to the Nov. 5, 2019 elections, visit: decaturishvotes.com

Qualifying for the Nov. 5 city elections in Decatur, Avondale Estates and Tucker began Monday, Aug. 19, and Decatur’s qualifying period ended on Aug. 21. Avondale Estates’ and Tucker’s qualifying period will end on Friday, Aug. 23.

The third day of qualifying in Decatur saw a new candidate join the race for District 2, Post B on the City Commission while another candidate switched places in order to run against incumbent At-large Commissioner Tony Powers, who is currently serving as the city’s Mayor Pro Tem.

Lesa Mayer will run for the Decatur City Commission’s District 2, Post B seat, joining two other candidates. The incumbent for that seat is Brian Smith, who has decided not to seek reelection. Attempts to reach Mayer were unsuccessful.

Christopher Gagnon previously announced plans to run for District 1 Post B. The incumbent for that seat is Commissioner Scott Drake, who has also decided against running. On Wednesday, Gagnon switched races and will now challenge Powers for the At-large seat.

Here is Gagnon’s announcement explaining his decision to switch races:

As I’ve watched a number of my neighbors join the race for City Commission it’s become clear to me that our vacant District 1 seat will be well-served regardless of the outcome of the election.  I’m excited to see the caliber of intelligent, compassionate candidates who have qualified for these seats.  As such, I see no need to oppose them.

I originally decided to run for city commission to protect this city that I love from the controversial rapid-fire changes that have slipped past our city commission while our residents are left scratching our heads.

Like many of my neighbors I’ve been dumbfounded at this direction and I believe our voices will only be heard with fresh leadership in a majority position on our city commission.  As such I have worked with our city clerk’s office to withdraw my candidacy for the District 1 post and have instead qualified for candidacy for the at-large post.

My family and I spent several years living in Oakhurst and I have the same affinity for District 2 as I do for District 1.  Living in our current home on West Howard, the border of both districts, puts us in the enviable position of belonging to a community that truly includes both sides of the city.  I’m excited to give all of my neighbors an additional choice in November.

In times of dissent no incumbent should run unopposed. Democracy provides for choice and choice is good regardless of the outcome of a race. This path will definitely be harder but I’m up for the challenge.  If you feel displaced by the direction our city is headed, I’d like to give you a different choice.

I’m looking forward to the next few months of debate as we decide the future of our city.

All of the candidates running for Decatur School Board will run unopposed.

– As of Aug. 20, the candidates who have qualified to run for office in Decatur are:

Decatur City Commission

District 1, Post B – Erin Braden

District 1, Post B – George Dusenbury

District At-large – Christopher Gagnon

District At-large – Tony Powers (Incumbent)

District 2, Post B – Phillip Wiedower

District 2, Post B – Chris Stirn

District 2, Post B – Lesa Mayer

Decatur School Board

District 2, Post B – Tasha Rose White (Incumbent)

District 1, Post B – James Herndon

At-large – Jana Johnson-Davis


– As of Aug. 21, the following candidates have qualified to run for Avondale Estates City Commission:

Mayor – Clai Brown

City Commission – Candace Jones

City Commission – Dee Merriam


– As of Aug. 21, the following candidates have qualified to run for Tucker City Council:

District 1 – Post 2 – Bill Rosenfeld (Incumbent)

District 2 – Post 2 – Noelle Monferdini (Incumbent)

District 3 – Post 2 – Anne Lerner (Incumbent)


Voter registration for the Nov. 5 municipal elections will end Oct. 7. Early voting will start on Oct. 14. To register to vote, click here.

In order to register you have to be a U.S. citizen, a legal resident of a Georgia county and at least 17 1/2 years old. You must be 18 years old to vote, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

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