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Cupid addresses elephant in the room, defends her Home Rule Map at Board retreat


During day one of the Cobb Board of Commission retreat last week, Chairwoman Lisa Cupid addressed the elephant in the room – the controversial topic of her Home Rule Map, which has sparked debate across the county and blocked several individuals from running for office in Cobb.

Cupid defended her decision to lead the board’s other two Democrats, Commissioners Jerica Richardson, and Monique Sheffield, in invoking Home Rule powers, thus replacing the Georgia General Assembly-approved commission district map with their own map. Cupid claimed that the state map drawing Richardson out of District 2 at the start of 2022 prompted her move. Many deemed that decision as unfair to sitting officials and sympathized with Richardson, but Cupid took it further and created her own map. Citizens sued the county and the matter ended up in Superior Court.

Many thought the matter was over once Cobb Superior Court Judge Ann Harris ruled in January that Cupid’s Home Rule map was unconstitutional, but Cupid singularly directed county attorneys to file an appeal. The Cobb Board of Elections is continuing to use Cupid’s map while the county awaits an appeal decision from the Supreme Court of Georgia.

During her emotional speech, Cupid dabbed at her eyes as she emphasized the importance of considering the impact on voters and the county’s operations due to the uncertainty caused by the ongoing legal battle. She also expressed gratitude towards Richardson for her professionalism throughout the ordeal.

Notwithstanding Cupid’s speech, Richardson has made the decision to move forward and is now running for Congress in the 6th Congressional District alongside Congresswoman Lucy McBath and State Rep Mandisha Thomas. Her decision to pursue this new opportunity demonstrates her ability to move beyond the controversy surrounding the Home Rule map, however, it appears that Cupid has not been able to move on from the Home Rule map controversy as easily. Despite the ongoing legal battles and criticism surrounding the map, Cupid continues to defend her decision and advocate for its use, emphasizing the impact on voters and the county’s operations, but not realizing the damage her Home Rule map has caused.

Commissioners JoAnn Birrell and Keli Gambrill, who opposed the Home Rule map, did not respond to Cupid’s emotional comments, however, the MDJ obtained a comment from Birrell saying she reiterated her stance that Cupid’s move was unconstitutional as she expressed concern over individuals being turned away from qualifying for the District 2 commissioner election under the Home Rule map.

Marietta resident Don Barth and former Marietta City Councilman Reggie Copeland were candidates for the District 2 seat on the Cobb Board of Commissioners, but were turned away last week due to instructions from the Cobb Board of Elections. According to Essence Johnson, acting chair of the Cobb Democrats, they were deemed ineligible to qualify under the Home Rule map per the elections board.

On Friday, the Cobb Elections Board held a hearing and voted to disqualify Alicia Adams, a Republican candidate for the District 2, because she did not live in the right district, per Cupid’s Home Rule Map. 

The controversy surrounding the Home Rule map has caused uncertainty within Cobb County’s political landscape, with lawsuits being threatened by those who have been kept off the ballot. The situation remains contentious as legal battles continue.


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