Three-way campaign for Gwinnett County Commission District Three

Former Snellville Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer has announced that he will run for the District 3 seat on the Gwinnett County Commission currently held by Republican Mike Beaudreau, who has announced his reelection campaign. Mike Korom of Dacula announced for the seat in December. This has  great potential to become a contentious spirited race with lots of discussion of why that other guy sucks the issues.

[UPDATED] I asked Commissioner Beaudreau if he cared to respond, and when he sent me something, I added it below.

District 3 covers the eastern portion of Gwinnett County, from the southern tip of the County, through Snellville, Loganville, Centerville, Duluth, Dacula and Grayson up to the northeastern tip of the County in Braselton.

Oberholtzer’s announcement contains the following quotes:

“Dishonest land deals, unbid sweetheart contracts, airport proposals that ruin neighborhoods and grand jury investigations have resulted in a disconnect and a loss of faith in government,” continued Oberholtzer, “These are tough economic times and just saying NO to everything, like Mike Beaudreau has done for eight years, isn’t working. Being negative drives away business and pours a cold bucket of water on progress and job growth. I’ll work to make Gwinnett the most business friendly county in Georgia.”

“I intend to use this campaign, not to complain about problems, but to offer real solutions. People who live here already know what the problems are: they want real leadership to show them the way to a better Gwinnett. I have the proven ability to keep taxes low, balance the budget, protect our neighborhoods and provide real-time, honest solutions to the traffic problem,” said Oberholtzer

“I look forward to a spirited campaign, grounded in the issues, leading the way to a new direction for Gwinnett. A direction that focuses on the people already here; the people that have worked hard, paid taxes and built our communities. So at the end of four years, we can say to our children and grandchildren: We left Gwinnett better than we found it,” concluded Oberholtzer

In his reelection announcement, incumbent Mike Beaudreau said he would focus on economic development, frugality with the county budget and greater transparency.

“The last few years have been very difficult for the county and many of its residents,” Beaudreau said.  “Because of the economic downturn, the Board of Commissioners was forced to make difficult decisions about spending and taxes.  My conservative leadership and opposition to tax increases helped get us to where we are today, with our top credit rating intact, and with the lowest unemployment rate of metro Atlanta’s core counties.  Now that we see signs of improvement on the horizon, I want to continue to help move the county in the right direction.”

In response to Oberholtzer’s statements, Beaudreau sent me this:

“Unfortunately, we can clearly see why Jerry Oberholtzer has gained the reputation of being a corrosive and caustic officeholder.  In his first press release, he has already stooped to petty name calling and false statements.

While I admire Mr. Korom’s passion on the airport privatization issue, I certainly don’t concur with his assessments.  In contrast, I have hosted 86 straight months of Saturday meetings with constituents.

What I have learned from those interactions is that Gwinnett citizens are tired of candidates who cannot offer any of their own ideas and instead just tear down other public servants’ hard work.  I am proud of my consistent voting record of opposing tax increases, leading Gwinnett’s Economic Development job creation efforts, and championing ethics and transparency reforms here in Gwinnett.”

In December 2011, Mike Korom of Dacula announced he would run for the seat. Korom cited his opposition to the privatization of Briscoe Field as the initial impetus for his decision to seek the seat.

“After doing the research, I was very quick to make the judgment that privatization in this situation is not good for District 3 of Gwinnett County,” Korom said, “I don’t think anybody in our area is looking forward to 737s flying overhead.”

“I’ve got a vision for Gwinnett County that is one of brightness and optimism which includes essentially ethical government, decrease in taxes and responsible leadership,” Korom said.

“I think, in general, the representation in District 3 with Mike Beaudreau has been one of not listening to his constituents,” Korom said. If elected, Korom intends to hold town hall meetings, create a website, and take other steps to reach out to the citizens. “I will communicate and return emails,” he said. “I know I have emailed Mr. Beaudreau on three different occasions and have yet to have a return email.”

Will Snellville’s long history of toilet politics, sign theft, personal attacks, and in-figthing infect this County Commission race? Well, it’s already getting a little bit testy in the comments on local websites. It’s a high enough likelihood that I’m putting this race on my “watch this train wreck” list for the year.


  1. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    And whom better to help turn things around for Gwinnett than Jerry Oberholtzer, the guy who needed a police escort to use the restroom when he was mayor of Snellville?

    Jerry Oberholtzer for District 3 Commissioner, because when you gotta go, you gotta go…

  2. debbie0040 says:

    Saying no to bad policy is good. I live in Mike’s district and can tell you that Oberholtzer will not get my vote… I disagree with Mike on some votes, but I think he has done a good job overall…

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