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Alpharetta: Meet your candidates for the 2018 mayor, council races

One city in north Fulton County will have a new mayor in May.

Former Alpharetta mayor David Belle Isle resigned a few weeks ago so he could qualify for the upcoming race for Georgia Secretary of State.

Last week, a pair of councilmen qualified for the mayoral race in Alpharetta. The city’s next mayor will be either Jim Gilvin or Chris Owens.


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Gilvin has been on the city council since 2011 and has lived in Alpharetta since the 1990s with his wife and two kids. He has a degree in finance from Georgia Southern University. On his campaign website, Gilvin says his top priority will be to “ensure city policies reflect balanced growth outlined in Alpharetta’s comprehensive plan.”

Another priority for him will be to “invest in the renewal of the Northpoint Parkway corridor and Alpharetta’s residential areas.”

Since being elected to the city council in 2009, Owens has served as the city’s mayor pro tempore and public works liaison. He is married with two children and is the vice president of a transportation engineering firm, Landis Evans and Partners.

Owens’ platform includes improving traffic and managing growth in Alpharetta. His Facebook page mentiones maintaining the “high standards” expected for the community. 

The winner between Gilvin and Owens will finish out Belle Isle’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2019.

To qualify for the mayoral race, both candidates had to give up their seats on the council, so Alpharetta will also elect two new council members in May. Qualifying for the Post 3 seat were Katie Harding and Karen Richard. Qualifying for the Post 4 seat were John Hipes and Clifford Martin.


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Harding and her husband have lived in Alpharetta since 2010. She is a graduate of the University of Tampa and worked at the Verizon Amphitheatre for 10 years as the director of premium seat sales, according to her LinkedIn.

Richard, her husband and two sons have lived in Alpharetta since 2005. For six years she served on the city’s planning commission, and for seven years she served on her neighborhood's HOA board. Richard also previously worked for American Express.

Hipes runs a law firm with the former mayor, Belle Isle. He holds degrees from Wake Forest and Georgia State and practices commercial litigation. He has been a member of the city’s planning commission and is a past president of Alpharetta’s rotary club. Hipes and his wife have two children.

Martin’s website says he is “a regular person and not a politician.” He has lived in Alpharetta for nearly 30 years and recently retired early from a 38-year career in information technology. He is also a member of the Georgia Nature Photographers Association.

The Post 3 term ends in 2021, and the Post 4 term ends in 2019.

Alpharetta will hold its special election to fill the mayoral and council seats on May 22. Early voting begins April 30.


Read more about upcoming elections in Fulton County on myAJC.


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