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Cumming Mayor Gravitt will seek reelection

Successful bid would continue 47-year tenure

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CUMMING, Ga. — Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt has squashed rumors that he was sitting the next one out.

“I’ve recently gotten my approval from my doctors,” Gravitt said. “They’ve assured me that I’ll die of something else before I’ll die of the cancer they’ve been treating me for. I offer myself for re-election of mayor of the city of Cumming.”

In addition to being cleared medically, Gravitt said he’s had hundreds of people tell him he needed to run again.

“I’m humbled to the fact they think I’ve done such a good job they want to keep me,” Gravitt said. “Every time elections have come up for the past 50 years they’ve told me. I’ve had good support over the years with every governor and the state legislative body. We know who to go to to get things done.”

Not looking for a paycheck, Gravitt said when he first got elected, the job paid $100 a year. Today he said he makes $1,000 a month, which he said he gives to different charities.

“I don’t have my own secretary, city vehicle, expense account or credit card,” Gravitt said. “I’m strict about the city’s money which is why we’re in good financial shape. I think it’s also why my supporters want me to continue to serve.”

Speculation into his plans began at a Feb. 2 Board of Commissioners meeting. Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said the county would have to “work with a new mayor” next year while developing the county’s future taxes.

Mills confirmed after the meeting that she was told by Gravitt that he would not be seeking reelection due to personal reasons.

When asked back in February, Gravitt’s office said he would be making an official statement on the topic at the city’s next council meeting Feb. 21. But the mayor stayed quiet.

“I have a health issue and I’m going to have surgery in the middle of March,” Gravitt said in February. “Before I make any announcements I’m going to wait until I get through with my surgery and get some doctor’s advice.”

Gravitt was first elected mayor in 1970, taking office in January 1971. Gravitt also served from 1967-1970 on the City Council prior to becoming mayor.

During his tenure, Gravitt said he is proud of all the city has accomplished, including the fact that Cumming has no debt.

In the midst of this year’s political uncertainty, Cumming resident Troy Brumbalow announced his candidacy for mayor Jan. 31.

“I want to use my business and government experience to lead my hometown of Cumming as its next mayor,” Brumbalow said in a statement. “I have been honored and humbled by the outpouring of support I have already received. Over the next several months leading up to the election in November, I look forward to working hard and earning the votes of the good people who live in Cumming.”

He said he will still be qualifying this August and wishes the mayor the best with his health issues.

“While the mayor wants to add another big courthouse in our downtown, I want to develop a city center concept with shopping and restaurants that will be the envy of the metro area,” Brumbalow said.

Registration for the mayoral seat will be Aug. 21-23 with the election in November.


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