In Buckhead, voters will select either Cynthia Briscoe Brown or incumbent Reuben McDaniel for the Seat 8 at-large Atlanta Board of Education post. It is a citywide position.
In the general election, McDaniel led with 36.74 percent of the vote, and Brown had 25.80 percent. Rounding out the five-person race were Mark Riley (18.15 percent), Tom Tidwell (15.13 percent) and Dave Walker (3.97 percent).
Brown said she has been endorsed by the three opponents who lost the general election and by the Buckhead Coalition. McDaniel, the school board chairman, said he has been endorsed by the city’s two teachers unions, the Atlanta Public Schools employees’ union and Mayor Kasim Reed.
Both McDaniel and Brown have children who attend the district’s schools or graduated from them. They said they are working hard to give their message to voters, knowing turnout in the runoff likely will be low.
“It’s a little more difficult, quite frankly, because fewer voters are engaged with the races and there have not been as many active [candidate] forums,” McDaniel said. “We’ve been using mail and email as much as we can but it has been more difficult.”
Brown said, “The key to victory in any runoff is turnout. I know my supporters are very motivated and very interested in going out to vote. Also, I think the fact that we have been able to unify four candidates’ worth of voters in one will be a big help. Once again, we are coming together and working together to achieve a goal.”
McDaniel confirmed he has been interviewed for the National Basketball Association Players Union executive director job, adding it was early in a search process that could last until the season ends this spring.
In Sandy Springs, Andy Bauman faces John Stoj for the District 6 City Council seat. In the general election, Bauman was the top vote-getter with 40.29 percent, and John Stoj had 29.12 percent. Rounding out the vote in that race were Patty Berkovitz (26.00 percent), Jennifer Steele (2.41 percent) and Sonja Tonpea (2.18 percent). Incumbent Karen Meinzen McEnerny is not seeking re-election.
Bauman said he has been endorsed by outgoing Mayor Eva Galambos and outgoing District 3 Councilman Chip Collins. Stoj said he has been endorsed by several local Republican leaders.
Bauman said the other candidates who lost the Nov. 5 election have not endorsed a candidate in the runoff. Like the school board race candidates, Bauman and Stoj said they are trying to reach more voters in the runoff.
“It’s all about voter turnout,” Bauman said. “As hard as it was the first time I ran with 22 percent turnout [Nov. 5], it’s even tougher with a runoff. There’s no mayor’s race at the top of the ballot. But I feel like I’ve got a lot of loyal support that will turn out again.
“I also think having run a positive, issues-oriented campaign will prove to be the difference as well.”
Stoj said, “I think for both candidates it’s just getting the vote out. We’re lucky as a district to have the choices that we have.”