The ranks of potential candidates for the open Sandy Springs City Council District 3 seat has grown in recent days to five, as county Republican Party leader Suzi Voyles and former municipal judge Larry Young declared candidacies.

They join previously announced candidates Chris Burnett, Brian Eufinger and Joe Houseman. No candidates are officially in the race yet until they file paperwork during a qualifying period that will run April 13-15. The special election to fill the District 3 seat, left vacant when Graham McDonald resigned for a state House run, will be held May 24.

Voyles, a 30-year Sandy Springs resident, is a homemaker who has been active in many local and regional organizations, including as former president of the Georgia Federation of Republican Women and current acting executive director of the Fulton County Republican Party.

She said she is focused on preserving the city’s tree canopy and water quality and promoting smarter development.

“How do we ensure we can keep our environmental resources?” Voyles said. “It would be great to create a community, not void of cars, but one where people can bike, walk [and] where’s there a variety of safe transportation…We don’t want to be ‘anti’ anything. But we have to be reasonable about what we do. We only have so many square miles in our city.”

Young is an attorney and civil engineer who has lived in Sandy Springs for 26 years and was involved in the city’s 2005 incorporation. He was one of the first City Court judges and is a former president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods. He has pledged to not accept campaign donations to remain “completely independent.”

“My experience as a civil and environmental engineer, attorney and city judge gives me a unique perspective on managing responsible and sustainable growth,” said Young in a press release. “As a candidate for City Council, I believe we need to ensure smart growth—growth that is well-planned and properly designed—not growth at any cost.”

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.