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A new era in Cumming

Mayor of nearly 50 years defeated

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CUMMING, Ga. — Nov. 7 will mark a new era in the history of Cumming.

On Election Day, it seemed all three Cumming City Council incumbents, including Mayor H. Ford Gravitt, lost to opponents.

Gravitt faced Troy Brumbalow in a battle over the nearly 1,000 votes cast. Brumbalow garnered nearly 60 percent of the votes. Gravitt took home 388 votes, or nearly 41 percent.

Since 1971, Gravitt has held the position of mayor. He served four years prior to that on the City Council and has 50 years of public service.

At his event on election night, Gravitt said he’s had a lot of support over the years.

“I was born and raised in Cumming, Georgia,” Gravitt said. “This has been my life. I can’t say enough about my family and the support. I’ve been honored and humbled to the fact I’ve had friendship and support of the people of Cumming. I’ve been able to work with local, county, state officials and federal government.”

He said he accepts that the people of the city chose a new path in the election.

“I want to personally thank my three kids and Angie (Mullinax, his campaign manager and girlfriend) for the hard work and dedication they’ve put into the campaign,” Gravitt said. “We came up a little bit short. We did all we could do. I won’t feel bad about it. I just hope we can have a good future for Cumming and Forsyth County.”

Post 1 Councilman Chuck Welch, elected in June 2015 to fill an unexpired term, was nearly upset by Chad Crane, a local project manager. Welch received 49.6 percent of the votes, while Crane almost beat him by just three votes. There will not be a runoff, however a recount of votes showed Welch and Crane tied. The city is still determining what to do.

In a profile from October, Crane said he’s motivated to get the citizens involved, hear their opinions on different topics and work together.

“We love it here, but there are many areas where the city has been left behind,” Crane said. “All of the surrounding areas have great city centers to walk, shop and dine. I want to create that here in Cumming while keeping no city property tax. It is time for positive fresh ideas at City Hall instead of the leadership that has been there for decades.”

Post 2 incumbent Quincy Holton, who has held his seat since 1968, lost to Professional Cryogenic Metallurgy and Coatings President Jason Evans. Holton received 42 percent of votes.

The city has experienced a large growth in population, Evans said, and he believes the citizens deserve a leadership that will help reflect the values and desires of the community.

“I feel we should be able to stay in our neighborhood enjoying our friends and family instead of going to other communities to accomplish this,” Evans said in October. “By asking questions and listening to our neighbors, we can develop the city that we want and deserve. We should be able to openly discuss any issues and opportunities that may present themselves. I want to be part of developing the City of Cumming into one of the greatest and most sought-after cities in the state.”

Out of the 2,680 registered voters, only 952 cast ballots, or 35 percent. The mayor and council seats are elected city-wide by Post and each serve four year terms.


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