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Three GA Libertarians win elections for school board, city council

LP GeorgiaOn Nov. 5, two Libertarians were elected to office in Georgia and one advanced to a runoff election.

Brett Bittner was the top vote-getter out of three candidates, winning 56.5 percent of the vote in his reelection bid for Marietta City School Board.

Karen Richardson finished second in a three-way race, winning one of two spots in the final runoff for a seat on the Johns Creek City Council. The final election will be held on Dec. 3.

Walter Reynolds won unopposed in his bid for Milledgeville City Council.

Brett Bittner advocates local control of schools.

"Does a bureaucrat in Washington know what courses are best for your child?" he asked. "Does a legislator in Atlanta know which pathway or diploma type will help your child succeed? I believe that we can, as a community, determine what's best for Marietta, rather than allow those 20 or 650 miles away dictate it to us."

During Bittner's first term, the school board lowered the millage rate, a multiplier that determines property taxes, for all Marietta residents. Next summer, the board intends to reduce that rate further. They also elected him to represent the board at the Georgia School Boards Association conference in 2013, as well as on the Marietta Schools Foundation Board, which operates a $3 million endowment program to privately finance scholarships, awards, and programs for Marietta City Schools.

Bittner said he got a leg up in his first election to the school board by getting involved in local political affairs. His activities included attending City Council and County Commission meetings and networking among various civic organizations in his district.

Running candidates for local office is particularly important in Georgia where ballot access laws make running for partisan district offices, including state legislature and U.S House, very difficult. Despite the party having maintained ballot status since 1988, a Libertarian must gather validated signatures of 5 percent of the active voters represented by the district.