The three candidates vying for the Fulton County Chair office will face off Wednesday, Oct. 4, in a forum cosponsored by Reporter Newspapers and the Riverside Homeowners Association.

The contenders include: Robb Pitts, a former Fulton commissioner and Atlanta City Council president; Gabriel Sterling, a current Sandy Springs City Council member; and Keisha Waites, a former state representative. All three have confirmed their attendance.

The candidates are vying in a special election to replace longtime Chairman John Eaves, who resigned to run for the Atlanta Mayor’s Office. The chair is an at-large, countywide position that leads the Board of Commissioners.

The election comes at a time of change for Fulton County, which will have its first new chair in more than a decade. Just a few of the big issues facing Fulton: Leaders are in the midst of planning for public transit and road expansions; skyrocketing property tax assessments recently triggered debate; and the role of county government is getting some rethinking with the recent formation of the city of South Fulton. There are diplomatic questions, too: Can county government continue its unprecedented era of good relations with north Fulton cities and improve relations with a new mayor of Atlanta?

The Oct. 4 forum will begin at 7 p.m. at Kairos Church, 5855 Riverside Drive N.W. in Sandy Springs. (The location has changed from the previously announced Riverwood International Charter School due to a scheduling conflict.) The forum, moderated by Reporter Newspapers Managing Editor John Ruch, will be open to the public and will include a period for audience questions.

John Ruch

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