Chris Burnett 887 54%
Joe Houseman 762 46%
Source: city of Sandy Springs
Community banker Chris Burnett won about 54 percent of the vote in the special city runoff election June 21 to claim a seat on Sandy Springs City Council.
Burnett collected 887 votes to defeat airline pilot Joe Houseman in the runoff for the District 3 council seat, City Clerk Michael Casey reported after the votes were counted. Houseman received 762 votes, Casey said.
Appearing at City Hall shortly after the results were announced, Burnett said he was “ready to get to work addressing the issues, things that are good about the city and things that need some work. There’s always room for improvement.”
Burnett, who has been active in numerous community groups and has served as chairman of the Sandy Springs/perimeter Chamber of Commerce, said he was committed “to bringing a balanced approach” to the city’s problems. “I am committed to being a good listener,” he said.
Burnett said he thought the District 3 campaign had focused attention on residents’ complaints about traffic and concerns about development in the city. He said complaints about construction on Sandy Springs Circle and “some of the development projects where you see a fair number of cranes” were “fresh on people’s minds.”
He congratulated Houseman on his campaign and said the vote reflected “a quality candidate in Joe Houseman, a genuinely good guy.”
Houseman, in turn, congratulated Burnett, saying he “ran a solid campaign.” “I’m happy for him,” Houseman said.
Houseman also thanked his supporters. “We had a great campaign. Just we didn’t get the voters out. That was the key to this. And everyone knew that with it being a special runoff in the middle of summer. But everyone worked tirelessly.
“My plans right now are to get a good night’s sleep and take my wife on a vacation, maybe with the kids. As far as future as future campaigning, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, we’re just going to decompress. Spend some time with the family, and no future plans at this point.”
Burnett claims the seat vacated by former City Councilman Graham McDonald, who resigned to run for a seat in the state Legislature. McDonald lost to Deborah Silcox in the Republican Primary for the House District 52 seat, which was vacated by the retirement of veteran Rep. Joe Wilkinson.
Five candidates filed in the special election for the council seat. Burnett and Houseman met in the runoff after none of the five claimed more than half the votes in the May 24 special election. Burnett received about 41 percent of the 1,907 votes cast in that race while Houseman gathered about 28 percent.
Burnett will be sworn in to office prior to the start of the July 19 council meeting, the city announced.
–James Beaman contributed to this report.