Sandy Springs City Council candidate Joe Houseman has won endorsement from two former foes as he battles Chris Burnett in a runoff for the District 3 seat.
Brian Eufinger and Suzi Voyles, who were eliminated from the five-way race in the May 24 election, said they will campaign for Houseman. The other candidate who finished out of the race, Larry Young, said he will not endorse either remaining contender.
In unofficial results from the May 24 special election, Burnett won about 41 percent of the vote and Houseman about 28 percent. Eufinger and Voyles combined drew about 22 percent, making a significant voting bloc if their voters agree to switch to Houseman.
“I’ll work hard for Joe Houseman,” said Voyles immediately after the Election Night vote count at City Hall.
“I’m going to be endorsing Joe,” said Eufinger. “I will be helping him door-knock some.”
In a written statement, Eufinger explained that he decided to endorse Houseman as “a fellow Eagle Scout, a man of great integrity and one who shares my primary values of protecting our neighborhoods and achieving smart, balanced growth. District 3 would be lucky to have him as its councilman in this time of unprecedented growth and change that is precipitating challenges I know he is prepared to face.”
“I’m going to stay neutral,” said Young, who drew just under 10 percent of the vote. “Both candidates are good folks. Either one could probably do the job. But I’m going to stay out of it.”
Chip Collins, an attorney and former City Council member who once held the District 3 seat, previously endorsed Burnett. One of the campaign’s fiery moments came when Eufinger, in a candidate forum, criticized that endorsement because Collins sometimes represents developers before the council. Collins and Burnett both said the endorsement had nothing to do with potential council votes.
Burnett, a community banker, has presented his financial expertise as an asset to the council, while Houseman, an airline pilot, has positioned himself as the voice of old-school suburban Sandy Springs.
The special runoff election will be held June 21.