Gabriel Sterling, a former Sandy Springs City Council member and political consultant, will serve as chief operating officer for newly elected Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Sterling will be the office’s “overall director of budgetary, human resources, and administrative operations,” according to a press release.

Gabriel Sterling

“Gabriel’s political and business accomplishments throughout his career will prove beneficial to all Georgians,” said Raffensperger in the press release. “I am excited to work with him and my team is equally excited to benefit from his experience.”

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the people of Georgia,” said Sterling in the press release. “I am humbled that Secretary of State-elect Raffensperger asked me to serve and look forward to hitting the ground running to help achieve Raffensperger’s vision for the Office of Secretary of State.”

Sterling is currently vice chairman of the Sandy Springs Development Authority and long ran a consulting business called SSH. He also serves on the boards of the Sandy Springs Conservancy, Heritage Sandy Springs and the Phoenix Patriot Foundation. He also recently served on Sandy Springs’ North End Revitalization Task Force.

Sterling served as the District 4 city councilmember from 2011 until very early this year. Jody Reichel won the seat after Sterling decided not to run again. Last year, he made an unsuccessful campaign for chairman of the Fulton County Commission. A Republican, Sterling became involved this year as a complainant in his party’s unsuccessful legal challenge to Democrat Josh McLaurin’s candidacy for Sandy Springs’ District 51 state House seat.

Raffensperger takes office Jan. 14. He replaces Brian Kemp, who will become the new governor.

One piece of unfinished business left by Kemp in the secretary of state’s office is a long-pending investigation of a 2016 Sandy Springs municipal election for possible polling place notice violations. The election was run by the city itself while Sterling was still on the council. The investigation has dragged on for years without clear explanation.

John Ruch

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