Fayette County


Both candidates confident in PTC Mayor runoff

Peachtree City Mayor incumbent Vanessa Fleish and challenger Eric Imker, for all their differences, have something in common. Both believe the other is not spending money correctly.

For Imker, the list of grievances with Peachtree City’s current mayor are lengthy and include nearly all the major issues that are brought up at the regular city council meetings. He said Fleisch’s decision making on many of these issues has cost the city an incredible amount of money, so much so that “It makes me ill,” Imker said.

“The budgeting is just outrageous with this mayor,” he added.

For her part, Fleisch is not pleased by the amount of money her running mates (Dar Thompson was eliminated in the Nov. 7 election when he received the third most votes) spent on negative campaigning towards her. Fleisch said there wasn’t an effort through their campaigning to find solutions to the issues facing the city.

“They didn’t articulate a vision,” Fleisch said.

Although only one candidate will win the Dec. 5 runoff, both appear confident that the runoff is a sign that the majority of voters will ultimately side with them in next month’s election. On election night, Fleisch earned 43.25 percent of the vote and Imker received 30.92 percent.

Imker draws on his runoff election for Peachtree City councilman back in 2009, in which he only had 27 percent of the vote in the initial election and then won the runoff for Post 1, as a reason why the odds are still in his favor come December.

He views the fact that a majority (56.58 percent) of voters chose a candidate other than Fleisch in the election as a sign the community wants a new mayor. Or, as Imker puts it, “We need a new mayor. A new mayor, bad.”

“The mayor knows it,” Imker said. “She’s worried.”

Fleisch also went through a runoff when she won in her first attempt for mayor. As is often the case with a three-candidate race, both the two remaining candidates knew a runoff was a possibility heading into the tallying of the votes on Nov. 7. Regardless, Fleisch sees the extra month of campaigning as part of the process that will eventually push her into her second term.

“In many ways it’s the same, because there’s a lot of buildup and anticipation, and then you just have to go through another month,” Fleisch said.

City Council Post 3 will also be decided Dec. 5 in a runoff between former mayor Harold Logsdon and Kevin Madden. Madden was the leading vote-getter Nov. 7 with 40.14 percent, while Logsdon garnered 32.39 percent.

By Justin Fedich

Justin Fedich is a reporter for the Fayette County News. He has been a reporter for various papers around the Southeast, including the Athens Banner-Herald and the Selma Times-Journal. Justin is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in digital and broadcast journalism and a sports media certificate.