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Election Government - Local News Uncategorized

Mableton Runoff Election, ‘Non-partisan races non-partisan no more’


The clock is ticking, and the gloves are off in the Mableton Runoff races for Mayor and various City Council seats within the new city. Voters spent last week exercising their civic duty by early voting. Others are expected to return to the polls on Tuesday, April 18th, which is their final opportunity to select the candidates they want to represent them in the new Mableton government. 

Information from Cobb elections suggested that numbers from last week’s early runoff voting have exceeded expectations, which is good news for the non-partisan race that can no longer qualify as such. 

When SPOTLIGHT South Cobb News pointed out the political leanings of the candidates, some screamed from the rafters that this was a non-partisan race, and we were wrong to reveal who was a Democrat and who was a Republican. We felt that our community needed to know this information before they voted, but not everyone thought so as they squealed about the information being shared.

We called it like we saw it after a video was sent to us showing Mayoral candidate Aaron Carman being interviewed by Fox News. That seemed odd to us that a candidate that was running for a position in a heavily democratic community would be on Fox News. Many called the interview innocent and tried to sweep that it under the rug, but our concern was simple and never went away. There were three other candidates in the race for mayor and Fox News only called on one candidate, Carman.

None of this matters anymore as both sides, Democrats and Republicans, are pulling out all stops to get their “partisan” candidates elected. Cobb GOP Chairwoman Salleigh Grubbs confirmed that an email was signed by her and sent out on behalf of the Cobb Republican Party urging members to make calls for “the conservative candidates” vying for mayor of Mableton and City Council seats. Said Grubb’s message, “With the City of Mableton now going to be the biggest city in Cobb, AND the ONLY cityhood that passed, we need to ensure the most conservative voices are elected.” Grubbs was referring to Carman and other Republican candidates they are supporting that have been using the label of non-partisan to shield their partisanship leanings within the democratic-leaning community of Mableton.

At a recent Democratic meeting, Donuts with Democrats, Chair Erick Allen gave the rallying speech for Dems and broke the numbers down when it comes to Mableton and other areas of South Cobb that are heavily Democratic-leaning. These areas voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, Jon Ossoff, and Raphael Warnock. In talking about the Mableton elections and elections occurring in the future in other Cobb cities Allen said, “Even though the municipal elections are nonpartisan, the butts that occupy those seats have ideological leanings and that is truly where we build the bench as Democrats.” Allen has also publicly endorsed Owens.

As the old folks used to say, the toothpaste is now out of the tube. If anyone was confused on who was the Democratic candidates and who was the Republican candidate, they now know. 

With the two candidates for Mayor separated by just 310 votes in the March election, Aaron Carman and Michael Owens have their work cut out for them as they continue to seek the attention of voters in these last hours to ask for their votes. Others in council races in Districts 2, 3, 4, and 5 are in the same boat as they seek voter support. Some may be exhausted at this point but that should come to a swift end on Tuesday night. 

When it comes to getting the new city of Mableton up and running, most candidates are saying similar things, but that was not the case early in the election process. The community was subjected to months of demands from de-annexers wanting to leave the new city of Mableton. Leading that charge were de-annexer candidates Carman and Patricia Auch, among others, along with their handlers. 

Print headlines and evening news stories were nauseating as they reported on every twitch, every hiccup, every sound the group made. Mableton citizens watched as meetings were held on top of meetings. In addition, comments were made during the process that included undertones not conducive for a diverse community such as Mableton. One of the de-annexers even compared Mableton to Stonecrest and South Fulton and predicted we would end up like them. These comments were placed on social media sites for the world to see. As quickly as they were put up, they were quickly taken down after complaints from others in the community.

Once it was determined that de-annexers were not going to get what they wanted via the general assembly, their attitudes suddenly changed. It was like an eclipse – emotions called down and rhetoric on de-annexation morphed into rhetoric on de-annexers wanting to run the new City. Using words like “more ethical and more honest”, they painted themselves as the best candidates to run Mableton’s government. Wow! Their comments suggested that the candidates they were running were not ethical or honest.

As we moved around the city, many citizens asked the same questions…if they wanted to destroy the city a few days ago, how can we trust them to now lead Mableton? To our surprise, when asked this question, many of the de-annexers responded in a similar manner saying they were not for de-annexation, they just wanted to let others leave if they wanted to. Wow!

During a recent interview with a different media outlet, both mayoral candidates were asked a series of questions with both having similar responses. The reporter pointed to cityhood being the biggest difference between the two. He referenced that Carman voted against cityhood and supported the unsuccessful effort to remove portions of the city from its boundaries — known as de-annexation. The reporter credits Owens, who voted for the city formation, with calling out his opponent by saying, “The reason (Carman) is in this race is because he is there to represent the de-annexation movement. And the de-annexation movement is about ensuring that certain precincts, homes and people do not live within the city limits of Mableton.” Not true, Carman said. “I’ve never run solely on just that alone,” he said of de-annexation. “I want to be a representative for all of Mableton.”

In addition to the mayor’s race, there are four council races in the runoff election. They include District 2  – Monica DeLancy vs. Dami Oladapo; District 3 – Keisha Jeffcoat vs. Yashica Marshall; District 4 – Patricia Auch vs. Cassandra Brown; and District 5 TJ Ferguson vs. Cheryl Davis. 

Many in the new city hope that voters elect candidates who can work together to move Mableton beyond the topics of cityhood and de-annexation, which has left everyone exhausted. We will find out after the polls close at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18th.

According to the 2020 census, Mableton has a population of 78,000 and became the largest city in Cobb after the November General Election. The city of Mableton represents the southernmost point of the county and borders neighboring cities of Austell, Powder Springs, and Smyrna. 


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