The long wait is finally over. Peachtree Corners, at last, has its mayor and all six council members in place and can now begin the process of building a brand new city.
Voters elected Alex Wright, Post 3, Jeanne Aulbach, Post 4, Lorri Christopher, Post 5 and Weare Gratwick, Post 6 in Tuesday's runoff election.
The March 6 election produced a mayor, Mike Mason, and city council members for Post 1, Phil Sadd, and Post 2, Jay Lowe. But the remaining city council seats for Posts 3, 4, 5 and 6 were undecided resulting in a runoff election.
"I'm excited about the people who will be on our city council," said Mason when the results came in Tuesday night. "Now we can really get going."
Tuesday also meant the end of an arduous journey for all eight of the candidates who spent an extra four weeks on the campaign trail.
"Relieved," was the single word answer that Alex Wright gave when he learned he had won the Post 3 seat. Wright, who was on a Caribbean cruise with his family added, "I know my wife is glad it's over."
But Wright said he's also excited to begin the process of helping to build the new city.
"He was a good opponent, and I wish him the best," said David Proud, who lost to Wright in a 63 - 37 percent decision. Despite the loss, Proud said he'd stay involved in the city and help in anyway he can.
Jeanne Aulbach captured the Post 4 council seat winning 63 percent of the vote. "I'm in shock," said Aulbach when the final votes were tallied by the Gwinnett County Election Office. "It was tough," added Aulbach speaking of the long hours spent campaigning.
The newly elected council member who enjoys walking as a way to exercise said she's looking forward to spending her Saturdays "walking for fun, not for votes."
Robert Byars, Aulbach's opponent said he was "disappointed, but had no regrets" in pursuing a seat on the city's first city council. "I may have lost, but I couldn't be more thankful for all of the support I received during the campaign," said Byars.
Byars said he will support the new council members and will "assist where I can to help the city get up and running."
The vote for Post 5 was the tightest of the four races with Lorri Christopher winning by 51 percent over opponent Gray Terry.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of the new city council," said Christopher Tuesday night. "It looks like we've got a really good city council."
Christopher said she was pleased that throughout the campaigning all of the candidates were respectful of each other.
A first-time candidate, Christopher added, "we're going to have a fantastic city."
A mere 39 votes decided the Post 5 council seat pointed out Gray Terry. "We ran a good campaign," said Terry afterwards. "It was close but no cigar."
"I'll still be active and involved," said Terry who added having the runoffs during spring break hurt voter turnout.
Weare Gratwick who won the Post 6 seat by a 52 - 48 percent margin over rival Brian Stickney admitted that waiting for the results was a real "nail biter."
"I'm grateful for the outcome, and thrilled at this point," said Gratwick Tuesday night. "The voters had a lot of good choices, I tip my hat to Brian, he said of his opponent.
Brian Stickney was not available for comment by deadline for this story.
Now it's on to the next step for the six new council members and mayor - training classes. Mason said he was preparing to send out emails to all of the newly elected council members to schedule a one-day training class on April 14 with the Georgia Municipal Association.
That will be followed up by a swearing-in ceremony for the new city council. Mason says a tentative date of April 15 has been selected but not confirmed.
Stay tuned - Peachtree Corners Patch will provide full details as soon as they are available.