Peachtree Corners voters cast their votes Tuesday (March 6) in the new city's first election to choose a mayor and six council members. But there's still work to be done: four of the six posts are undecided, so voters will be heading back to the polls on April 3.
"There is a sense of relief," said Mike Mason, the city's new mayor who ran unopposed. "We finally had our first election." Despite the long-awaited day, only two of the city council seats are filled, Phil Sadd, the Post 1 candidate, and Jay Lowe, Post 2 candidate, are the apparent winners of Tuesday's election.
Lynn Ledford, Gwinnett County's election board manger said the votes will be certified next Monday which makes the results official.
Sadd won easily over his two opponents, Joe Sawyer and Nneka Chukwu, garnering 70 percent of the vote for District 1.
"I was thrilled that I won and I don't have to go to a playoff," said Sadd. "And I'm honored that the District 1 voters selected me as the first council member of the new city."
For Sawyer, the loss was a bitter one. "I'm disappointed, very disappointed," admitted Sawyer late Tuesday night when the final results were published. "I'm trying to stay positive, I am happy that it's over with, but disappointed."
Sawyer said there were some in the community who had stolen some of his campaign signs and others that had been vandalized.
"Someone put 'Don't Vote for Joe Sawyer' on my campaign signs," he said. He said the notices had been stapled on his campaign signs covering up his name.
But all was not disappointing said the father of two pointing out that he had met a lot of great people but added "I don't think I'll do this again. The vandalized signs were heartbreaking for Sawyer who admitted the act has left "a very sour taste in my mouth."
Jay Lowe, who ran for the District 2 seat narrowly squeaked out a win over Stephen Peet winning 52 percent of the vote.
"I am honored and humbled to represent our great city as one of its first city council members," said Lowe in an email message. "I am looking forward to working with Mayor Mason and new city council members for the betterment of Peachtree Corners and its citizens."
Peet, a Peachtree Corners resident for 22 years, lostby just 124 votes.
For Sadd and Lowe, their days as council members will begin soon. The mayor says he plans to meet with both of them within the next few days. Even though the full council will not be decided for another four weeks, Mason said there's still a lot they can begin working on.
Heading into a runoff in four weeks are the top two finishers in Post 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Post 3 candidates:
Alex Wright, with 46% and
David Proud with 29%.
Scott Ehrlich (25%), was eliminated.
Post 4 candidates:
Jeanne Aulbach, with 44% of the vote and
Robert Byars, with 29% of the vote.
Candidates Robert Indech (10.29%) and Gloria Rucks (16.13%) were eliminated.
Post 5 candidates
Lorri Christopher, with 37% of the vote and
Gray Terry with 35% of the vote.
Brent Johnson with 27% was eliminated.
Post 6 candidates
Weare Gratwick with 40% of the vote and
Brian Stickney with 34% of the vote.
Ray Cobb (12.39%) and David Leader (12.83%) were eliminated.