Pitts: Fulton election challenge not personal

Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts Wednesday said he filed a lawsuit challenging results of the May 20 primary election to ensure county elections are run properly, not to cling to public office.

On Monday Pitts challenged the results of the Democratic primary election for County Commission chairman. Pitts lost that race narrowly to incumbent Chairman John Eaves, who is set to face Republican Earl Cooper in the November general election.

In the lawsuit, Pitts says the Fulton election department erred in not properly identifying the chairman’s race properly on the ballot, confusing many voters and leading them to not vote in that race. The race was identified as “District No. 7 at large,” but not as the chairman of the seven-member County Commission. The race has been identified only by district number in the past.

At a press conference Wednesday, Pitts said it’s about cleaning up elections in Fulton County, which has a history of election controversies.

“This whole issue is bigger than Robb Pitts,” he said.

Pitts asked Fulton County Superior Court to order a new election on July 22, when voters will decide several runoff elections. He said if the court acts quickly on his request it shouldn’t cost taxpayers extra money to redo the chairman election.

If his lawsuit fails, Pitts indicated he may not be done running for public office. He said he would consider running for the chairman’s job in the future.

In an interview Wednesday, Eaves called the lawsuit frivolous and unnecessary. He said Pitts is suing the county and the litigation will cost taxpayers money.

Eaves said the allegation that voters were confused by the ballot is without merit. He said Pitts’ own campaign literature identified the race as District 7.

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