With the qualifying period over, the candidate list for Atlanta elections is set. Both City Council districts representing the heart of Buckhead have attracted competing candidates.
The Nov. 7 election includes all Atlanta City Council seats, City Council president, mayor and all Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education seats.
Council District 8
Two candidates qualified Aug. 23 for the District 8 seat, which covers areas of Buckhead west of Roswell and Peachtree roads, including the Chastain Park, Memorial Park and West Paces Ferry neighborhoods.
J.P. Matzigkeit, the chief financial officer for a Buckhead fitness company, Wahoo Fitness, announced his intent to run shortly after City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean announced she would not run again.
Matzigkeit is also the founder and former president of the Chastain Park Conservancy, where he said he “learned the importance of listening to constituents and learned a lot about working with city officials.” He served as a board member at the conservancy until recently.
Matzigkeit said that if elected, his focus would be on public safety, traffic and responsible spending.
“As a business professional, I will continue to focus on Atlanta’s financial well-being. I will also work to ensure that precious tax dollars are spent wisely and well, not just in District 8, but citywide.”
Matzigkeit also said he wants to bring more companies to Atlanta and make sure Atlanta is “an attractive place to do business.” His campaign website is jpforatl.com.
Anna Tillman, a Mount Paran/Northside resident and Galloway School substitute teacher, also is running for the seat. Tillman announced her candidacy Aug. 23 and said she would focus on transparency, fiscal accountability, improved constituent services and increased infrastructure repair funding.
“I will also support regional transportation alternatives, including MARTA, while advocating for increased funding for walking/bike trails and sidewalks,” Tillman says on her campaign website, annatillman.com.
She holds a master’s degree in geology and has experience in construction management, health and safety regulations and budgeting, according to her announcement.
Council District 7
Rebecca King qualified to run for the District 7 seat, challenging incumbent Howard Shook. The district represents areas east of Roswell and Peachtree Roads, including the Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza area, and neighborhoods including Garden Hills and North Buckhead.
King serves on the boards of Livable Buckhead and the North Buckhead Civic Association. She has lived in District 7 for seven years, she said.
“My concern for preserving the quality of life in Buckhead as it expands will mean actively addressing the challenges of traffic congestion, public safety, construction, and monitoring the development of Park 400,” King said.
Shook is running for his fifth City Council term, having first been elected in 2001. He has served on every council committee and currently chairs the council’s Finance Committee. One of his major projects has been to increase the amount of parkland in the district.
Council District 6
Two candidates qualified to seek Alex Wan’s District 6 seat, which he will vacate in his bid for City Council president. District 6 represents the Lindbergh area and other Buckhead border areas near I-85.
Kirk Rich, a Morningside resident and commercial real estate broker, has been running for months. Rich previously served on the board of Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm.
Rich supports increasing greenspace, expanding bike lanes, raising police pay, improving infrastructure and limiting development that could “change the fabric of our historic neighborhoods,” according to his campaign website, kirkforatlanta.com.
Jennifer Ide, a Morningside resident and lawyer, also is running in District 6.
Ide mentions affordable housing, “serious traffic congestion, intrusive commercial development, and roads and sidewalks in desperate need of repair” as issues she will address on her campaign her website, jenniferforatlanta.com.
Ide has a law degree from Emory University and clerked for the federal district court. She has held leadership positions with the State Bar, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, and Atlanta Legal Aid, according to her website.
A crowded field of candidates is running to replace term-limited Mayor Kasim Reed.
Thirteen candidates qualified to run for mayor. They are: Peter Aman, Rohit Ammanamanchi, Keisha Lance Bottoms, John Eaves, Vincent Fort, Kwanza Hall, Carl Jackson, Laban King, Ceasar Mitchell, Mary Norwood, Michael Sterling, Cathy Woolard and Glenn S. Wrightson.
Board of Education
Nancy Meister, the incumbent for the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 4 seat, which covers Buckhead, faces no opposition in her bid for re-election.