In addition to at least one notably anti-Semitic candidate, Jewish candidates are on the ballot in municipal elections around metro Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Among those the AJT is aware of who are in contested races (in America, fortunately, no one must disclose religious affiliations to run for political office, so there could be others we don’t know about):
- John Eaves (www.eavesforatlanta.com), the former Fulton County Board of Commissioners chairman and a Temple member, is trying to become the second Jewish mayor in Atlanta history, joining Sam Massell. All he has to overcome is a deep field of experienced, well-known candidates who have held prominent city positions or other elected offices — Keisha Lance Bottoms, Ceasar Mitchell, Kwanza Hall, Mary Norwood, Vincent Fort, Cathy Woolard, Peter Aman, Rohit Ammanamanchi and Glenn Wrightson. (Aman is not Jewish, but his wife and children are.) A runoff between the top two vote-getters will be held Dec. 5 if no one wins a majority.
- Mike Bodker (www.mikebodker.com), a Chabad of North Fulton member and the only mayor Johns Creek has known since its incorporation in 2006, is running for re-election against businessman Alex Marchetti (alexmarchetti.com), who attends the same church, St. Brigid Catholic, as City Council member Lenny Zaprowski.
Matthew Tyser (www.TyserForRoswell.com), a certified public accountant and member of Congregation Gesher L’Torah with his wife, Susan, is running for the open Post 5 seat on the Roswell City Council against small-business man and Navy veteran Keith Goeke (keith4roswell.com). “The increase in property taxes this past summer helped me realize that my financial experience is truly needed in government,” Tyser said. “I regularly deal with purchasing and procurement in my career, and I will use those same skills to negotiate win after win for our taxpayers.” He said traffic is a priority issue.
- Jody Reichel (www.vote4jody.com), a real estate investor who has been a leader as a volunteer at the Davis Academy, North Springs Charter High School and Jewish Family & Career Services, is running for the District 4 City Council seat in Sandy Springs against Le’Dor Milteer (www.ledorfordistrict4.com) in the only contested election in the city. (Temple Sinai member Andy Bauman, for example, is uncontested for re-election to the City Council from District 6.) Milteer gained notoriety after early voting began Oct. 16 when she had to admit including a fake quote in a press release about her endorsement by the Georgia Stonewall Democrats.
- In Dunwoody, Joe Hirsch (www.dunwoodyjoe.com) in District 1 and Bobby Zuckman (www.facebook.com/bobbyzuckman) in District 2 are challenging City Council incumbents. Hirsch, a former TV journalist and teacher known for city activism and comments at council meetings, is running against Pam Tallmadge (pam4dunwoodyga.us). Zuckman, a technology consultant and political newcomer, is taking on Jim Riticher (riticher.com).
In addition, a notable Jewish newcomer who is unopposed on a municipal ballot is Joseph Goldstein in Marietta’s Ward 7. Goldstein, a 2014 University of Georgia graduate who got his law degree from UGA this year, is succeeding his father on the Marietta City Council, where Philip Goldstein has served since 1980.
The Goldstein family has lived and worked in Marietta for more than a century and has some of the most valuable holdings of commercial property in the city.
Looking ahead to the state elections in 2018, declared Jewish candidates already include AJT 40 Under 40 member Lindy Miller for public service commissioner, Cindy Zeldin for insurance commissioner, and Michael Wilensky for state House District 79, where Dunwoody Republican Tom Taylor has announced he will not seek re-election.