Voters choose mayor and council post in this Tuesday’s Peachtree City runoff


What a difference a decade makes. In a Nov. 2, 2011 story in The Citizen, then-council members Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard both were reported to have endorsed the reelection of fellow Councilman Eric Imker in letters to the editor.

Now, 10 years later, Fleisch is leaving the council after serving the maximum-allowed two terms as mayor and Learnard is locked in a runoff battle for mayor with Imker in a runoff election to be decided Tuesday, Nov. 30.

There’s also a runoff for Post 4. Planning Commission member Frank Destadio and Peachtree City chiropractor Phil Crane were the top two vote-getters in the Nov. 2 election tally, setting up this runoff.

Only Peachtree City voters are eligible to vote in the runoff, and you do not have to have voted in the Nov. 2 election.

Three of the candidates made last-minute pitches to voters in letters to the editor. See letters from Learnard, Imker and Destadio elsewhere on this site. Crane did not submit a letter.

The Citizen will be covering the vote count Tuesday night.


  1. I, for one, hope we as a citizens living in a “place we like to call home” can get behind our current and newly elected officials. They are literally our neighbors. I also wish to state I am proud of the representation we have had for the past eight years. I may not have agreed with every City Council decision, but I am pleased our City Council, including Mayor, have positively responded to citizen concerns, whether it be WASA, LCI, Great Wolf Lodge, SPLOST, budgetary, and more. They may have entertained various proposals from various sources, but when it came to making their final decisions, where the “rubber meets the road,” they acted as concerned adult civic leaders, working together and favorably supporting their constituents. I applaud them, each and every one.

  2. In a matter of a few hours we will have a new mayor and a new post 4 councilman. Best of luck to the four candidates who still have a hat in the ring!

    Might I suggest that the rest of us begin taking down our yard signs and replacing them with something a bit more festive 🙂

  3. His last-minute hijincks with the manipulated ballot image cost him the 2 votes in our household and about a dozen more on our street. There’s just no place for that kind of pettiness in our local elections and government. He’s showing his you-know-what and being the same kind of divisive jerk that we had in Haddix and still have in Brown. Sorry Eric, but we need civility and decorum in politics and not this adolescent name-calling.

          • You realize you pretty much “self own” there, right?

            21-2-575 implicitly covers this type of behavior.

            Why do I think if it was a Democrat doing the exact same thing, you’d be on the phone to Raffensb… wait… Kemp… no, 1-800-Trump… Pillow Man… GQP headquarters?

            Consistency is the mother of credibility.

          • Despite PTCitizen’s discussion of intelligence, it’s arguable that he is partially correct. I’m not sure the code cited specifically addresses the alteration and distribution of a sample ballot. While it doesn’t specifically address a digital image of a sample ballot, you’d be hard pressed in this digital age to believe that a paper ballot and a digital image of one is not synonymous. Both paper and digital sample ballots are generally available preceding and during election activity.

            After lightly researching the Georgia voter code, it appears the code cited is the closest thing to address the alteration of a sample ballot. Unfortunately, I do not believe the language is specific enough, in this case, to definitively determine that Eric Imker committed a crime. I believe what he did was unethical, but did it break the law? I don’t know. Further, could his alteration be considered deceptive? This was a non-partisan race – is party affiliation relevant? Some say yes, some say no. I see nothing wrong with labeling a candidate during a campaign, but I do believe doing so on a sample ballot is crossing the line.

            I found a case in Maryland, a few years back, where a candidate did alter a sample ballot in a way similar to what Eric did. The circumstances were different in that many altered sample ballots were printed and distributed. It was a partisan race and the altered ballot changed party affiliations on some of the candidates in an attempt to deceive voters. That candidate was prosecuted, fined, and did some time. The study indicated that deception like this is common, but prosecution is rare, due to lax voter codes and the willingness to follow through with the nuances of prosecution.

            No matter if the offense is a crime here in the state of Georgia, I believe what Eric did was unethical in this non-partisan race. He lost by close to 400 votes? (I can’t remember). Did his stunt have an effect on the outcome? It’s possible.

          • It would be nonsense to argue that when this law was passed as SB1, Sec34-1913 in 1964, that the legislators intended it in any way to apply digital image technology that didn’t exist yet as posted on an Internet that didn’t exist yet.

            The statute is clear as a plain reading. It only refers to printed material represented as an official ballot. It doesn’t apply to a failed attempt at a meme.

            In other news, you also won’t be charged with a felony for having monopoly money in your pocket.

          • You won’t be charged with a felony for having monopoly money in your pocket because it has little resemblance to the real thing.

            That isn’t the case with Eric’s sample ballot stunt.

            Discussing this incident isn’t in any way nonsense. The cited statute seems to be more about dealing with reprints of ballots being labeled as a “sample”, having it a different color/size, and publishing it in a newspaper, rather than blatant alteration. If in fact it was passed in 1964, it’s probably a good time to lobby a revisit and rewrite based on current technology and the ever growing threat of deception by candidates.

          • No, Dawn, we don’t have to revisit and rewrite any laws just because you have an axe to grind.

            As Spyglass pointed out, with was an unethical act. Trying to legislate ethical behavior is nothing less than tyranny, and if you want to go down that road, there is a lot of immoral and unethical behavior at an individual level which is tolerated today that people you disagree with will rush to stamp out.

            Think before you act.

          • I agree with Dawn Haddocks (December 3, 2021 at 12:55 pm) statement, “If in fact it was passed in 1964, it’s probably a good time to lobby a revisit and rewrite based on current technology and the ever growing threat of deception by candidates.” I have three reasons for my agreement. First, the State of Georgia has recently placed making integrity of elections less disputable a high priority. Second, at the time SB1, Sec34-1913 in 1964 was enacted, the State of Georgia had seen a great deal of controversy in it’s election safeguards. This was an era when the Civil Rights Act was enacted, Lyndon Johnson was elected over Barry Goldwater, and the “Peyton Road Affair” took place in Atlanta. Third, I believe digital online representations are more read and understood as truth than nearly any printed media.