The State Senate voted 33-23 last week to reject the Buckhead cityhood movement.

The group pushing for Buckhead to split from the city of Atlanta says it is backing off its efforts “for now” after the Georgia Senate overwhelmingly rejected cityhood legislation last week.

The Buckhead City Committee posted a statement to social media and sent an email to supporters late Sunday night with the subject line, “Farewell … for now.”

The email accused Gov. Brian Kemp and other Republicans of conspiring to ensure the cityhood bills would not pass in a Senate floor vote. And with Kemp in office until 2026, there is “no path forward” for Buckhead to incorporate as its own city, the committee wrote in the email.

“In a nutshell, Governor Kemp and his team coordinated behind closed doors to kill the Buckhead City bills before they even had the chance for an honest vote in the Senate,” the committee said in the email.

The Senate voted 33-23 on March 2 to reject legislation what would have allowed residents of the wealthy north Atlanta community to secede from the city of Atlanta. The vote came the day after Gov. Kemp’s Executive Counsel David Dove released a memo with a series of questions surrounding the legality of Buckhead de-annexing from Atlanta.

Ten Republicans joined 23 Democrats to vote against cityhood, angering Bill White, head of the Buckhead City Committee, who believed there were enough votes to pass the bill, according to the email.

But the Dove memo “effectively swayed the swing votes against our bills, because those Republican senators could not disobey Governor Kemp,” the committee said in the email.

The email concludes with the promise to continue to “work for the cityhood referendum in the future.”

“Even though we did not accomplish our ultimate goal for now, our organization, with your help, forced the new Mayor and City Council of Atlanta to prioritize Buckhead and public safety,” the email from the committee said. “Against all odds, we were only six votes away from our bills passing in the Senate.”

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.