Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, left, announces she will not seek reelection. Rusty Paul, right, waits in the wings. About 50 civic and political leaders attended Paul's announcement April 22 at Morgan Falls Park.
Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, left, announces she will not seek reelection. Rusty Paul, right, waits in the wings. About 50 civic and political leaders attended Paul’s announcement April 22 at Morgan Falls Park.

Sandy Springs’ first Mayor Eva Galambos has announced  she will not seek reelection and former City Councilman Rusty Paul says he will run for the position.

Flanked by Galambos and City Council members Tibby DeJulio, Dianne Fries and Gabriel Sterling, Paul announced his candidacy at a press conference at Morgan Falls Overlook Park on April 22.

Paul said if elected, he would continue the direction of the city with an emphasis on community improvements, lower water rates, and replacing deteriorating apartment complexes.

The press conference was also an opportunity for Galambos, the city’s founding mayor, to formally announce that she would not seek reelection.

“I’m going to be 85 years old in July.  I believe in going out when you’re at the top of your game,” Galambos said. “I’m delighted to see someone pick up these responsibilities that I have full faith in.”

Paul said Galambos encouraged him to run for the office, and he intends to mirror her leadership style.

“I want to thank Mayor Galambos for her leadership, not just over the past seven years, but the past four decades,” Paul said. “Without her perseverance, tenacity and dedication, there would be no city of Sandy Springs.”

Paul served as one of the city’s founding council members from 2005-2009. He is director of government affairs and public policy practice at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, a law firm. Paul is a lobbyist for the firm’s clients.

Rusty Paul announces his plans to run for mayor of Sandy Springs as Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Dianne Fries looks on.

The press conference was attended by a number of business, civic and political leaders of Sandy Springs. Fulton County Commissioner Tom Lowe likened the event to a coronation, as Galambos steps down and offers her support to Paul.

“I’m also fully aware that the person who succeeds Eva Galambos as mayor is sort of like coming in after Bear Bryant,” Paul said, referring to the legendary University of Alabama football coach. “There’s certain shoes that can’t be filled.”