JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – After the May 20 City Council elections for the Post 4 and Post 6 races, the number of candidates have been reduced from nine to four in what can only be described as tepid turnout by city voters.
Post 4 has a runoff between Steve Broadbent and Nancy Reinecke. Post 6 will see Eric Fragoso and Robert Gray square off.
With nearly 6,000 votes cast from among 36,000 registered voters, Johns Creek had an unofficial turnout of 15.26 percent, according to City Clerk Joan Jones.
Timed to coincide with Georgia party primaries, the nonpartisan council races were to fill two unexpired terms vacated by Councilwoman Bev Miller and Councilman Ivan Figueroa. Miller had resigned to run against Mayor Mike Bodker and Figueroa resigned because he was moving from the city.
In Post 4, Broadbent garnered nearly 45 percent of the vote, so he will face Reinecke with 18.5 percent of the vote in the runoff.
Broadbent said he was “very happy” to receive more than 44 percent of the votes cast in a field of five.
“That is tough overall to do. I ran a positive campaign and focused on the issues,” Broadbent said. “I think the voters responded to that. I want to congratulate Nancy [Reinecke] and look forward to two more months of good campaigning.”
In the Post 6 race, Eric Fragoso and Bob Gray were the front runners. Gray polled 43.45 percent of the vote (2,570) while Fragoso claimed 27.67 percent of the vote (1,640) out of the four candidates.
Fragoso said he was prepared to continue campaigning.
“I think it was a wonderful result and I am very grateful for the support I’ve received – from the voters, from the people who helped on the campaign and donated money. I want to thank them for contributing their time, energy and effort,” Fragoso said.
He is not surprised to be in a runoff.
“I think most people expected it with the number of candidates out there. But now the clock is reset, and I am looking forward to an exciting runoff. In about seven weeks, we will get a final decision,” Fragoso said.
The July 22 date for a runoff has caused much speculation about voter turnout. Not only is it at an odd time of year for voting, it comes just as the shortened school summer vacation period is winding down and families may be out of town squeezing the last days out of summer.
All that said, runoff elections are historically poorly attended. With only a 15 percent turnout in May, the turnout in July will likely be much less. So the races will go to the candidates who can get their supporters to the polls a second time.
In other races of note, Milton resident Bob Ellis defeated Roswell resident Eric Broadwell to fill the newly created District 2 Fulton County Commission seat.
Former Atlanta City Councilman Lee Morris will take the District 3 commission seat vacated by the retiring Tom Lowe. He joins Commissioner Liz Hausmann of Johns Creek and Ellis to make up the Republican North Fulton delegation to the commission.
Chairman John Eaves narrowly turned away Commissioner Robb Pitts’ effort to unseat him 51 percent to 49 percent. Likewise, Commissioner Emma Darnell returns to District 6 after a similarly narrow margin against Commissioner Bill Edwards. Darnell and Edwards had been redistricted into to the same commission district.
Fourth District Commissioner Joan Garner easily won re-election. A new District 5 will see former Atlanta City Council President Marvin Arrington face Brenda Muhammad, a former member of the Atlanta Public Schools Board.
Post 4 Votes
Robert Gray 2,570 – 43.35 percent
Eric Fragoso 1,640 – 27.67 percent
Thomas Radford 1,286 – 21.69 percent
Steve Broadbent 2,693 – 44.51 percent
Nancy Reinecke 1,098 – 18.56 percent
Esther Weathers 1,035 – 17.10 percent
Tom Muzzuckelli 862 – 14.43 percent
Lea Taylor 305 – 6.83 percent