A sign on Highway 29 heading north into College Park marks the city limit. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO

Longtime College Park mayor places second, will advance to runoff

Jack Longino, the longtime mayor of College Park, will face a runoff to keep his seat for a seventh term.

Longino, 66, finished second to Bianca Motley Broom, 42, in the six-person race. No one received more than 50 percent of the vote.

Wednesday, Longino said he was happy to still be in the mix to run the city of 15,000.

“I’m in it to win it,” he said. “I’m not a worrier. I’m a doer.”

Longino said he’s willing to bring change to the community if it’s change the majority wants. He said previously that he intends to fight for College Park’s economic well-being and continue working to bring down crime and improve the city’s perception in metro Atlanta.

The mayor came under fire in 2016 for canceling the city’s arts festival, but said Wednesday that he’s “not that big of a horse’s rear end” to have retaliated against people who supported his 2015 opponent. Since 2016, he said, no one has asked for the festival to be reinstated.

He said he’s in favor of more arts programs, and more festivals, in the city.

Motley Broom, a mediator and former Fulton County magistrate judge, said the results make it clear that residents want change. Collectively, Longino’s challengers collected more than three quarters of the total votes cast.

She said her leadership would provide a “very stark contrast” to the incumbent.

“We need a fresh way of thinking,” she said. “We need an approach to decision-making that’s going to be different than how we’ve been doing things.”

If elected, Motley Broom said she would work to modernize the city. She wants to review College Park’s spending and prioritize efficiencies. She also wants to make College Park more business friendly, especially for small business, and improve residents’ engagement in big projects. She also wants to improve recreation and art and cultural programs, and will seek to reduce the poverty rate through increased job training. College Park has a poverty rate of 35 percent, and the median household income is just $29,087, according to Census data.

“The world’s changed, and College Park has got to change with it,” Motley Broom said.

The runoff will be held Dec. 3. Other longtime mayors in Hapeville (Alan Hallman) and Palmetto (John Clark Boddie) won their elections Tuesday.

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