March 12, 2014

Council leaning against May special election for mayor

Dalton voters will likely have to wait until November to select their next mayor.

The City Council has the option of calling a special election to fill the unexpired portion of David Pennington’s term during the May 20 primary or during the November election. Under state law, Pennington lost his post as mayor when he qualified to run for governor as a Republican earlier this month.

Council members say they will likely call the election in November.

“We think that is the most fair thing for any potential candidates. There’s not a lot of time until the primary,” said Mayor Pro Tem George Sadosuk, who will serve as acting mayor until a new mayor is elected.

If council members wanted to call the special election during the primary, they would have to act no later than March 20.

“We don’t want anyone to rush into running,” said council member Denise Wood. “We want them to think about it. We want good candidates, and holding the election during the primary wouldn’t give them a lot of time to campaign, much less really think about why they are running and what they want to accomplish.”

Council member Gary Crews said most of the feedback he has gotten from the public says to hold the election in November.

“I’ve talked to several people, including a couple who have previously served on the council,” he said. “And they feel like the city would be best served if the candidates had a little more time. We want candidates who have really thought about this and are certain they want to take on this responsibility.”

Pennington’s unexpired term concludes at the end of 2015.

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