Candidate Painter’s election filing paperwork sparks ethics complaint


The 2023 municipal election campaigns are off and running and we have some early controversy. With most elections, the rhetoric focuses on political issues or character flaws. However, the current dispute is over the election process.

Painting himself into a corner?

Rumors were whirling around regarding candidate Vic Painter not properly filing an important state document allowing a person to run for elected office and his not filing a mandatory personal financial disclosure form 15 days after qualifying at City Hall.

Several days ago, I performed some exploratory research and could not find Painter’s Personal Financial Disclosure Statement on file. Painter told The Citizen Publisher and Editor Cal Beverly via email that he had filed all the mandated state paperwork.

I executed a double-check (September 19), calling the City Clerk of Peachtree City, and was told they had committed a clerical error and neglected to post the financial disclosure document given to them by Painter. The City Clerk’s office has since made the necessary corrections.

The other complaints regarding Painter seem to be squarely upon his shoulders.

Is he disqualified or not?

I had heard from several people that Painter had not properly completed the Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions form (also known as DOI). The state requires a potential candidate to submit a DOI before they can be a candidate for any elected office.

I did find a DOI posted for Painter. It appears the reports regarding his filing were true. The form was both incomplete and inaccurate. In my 20-odd years of looking through candidate campaign reports, I have never ever come across such an atypically weird filing.

Local resident Elaine Kilgore sent me a copy of a state ethics complaint she has filed against Painter involving his DOI form, and to the best of my knowledge, the accusations appear legitimate.

Kilgore’s official ethics complaint lists a number of errors and omissions on Painter’s DOI form and asks that the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission disqualify Painter as a candidate.

What in the world happened?

Painter’s signature appears on the bottom of his DOI form, dated August 21, 2023, directly under the state’s statement of certification, which reads in all capital letters, “I CERTIFY THAT THIS STATEMENT IS COMPLETE, TRUE AND ACCURATE.” I have to admit that I was shocked that he signed off on the form, attesting that everything was complete, true, and accurate.

Painter failed to provide his “full name.” He failed to provide his complete address. He also declined to provide the city council “post” for the race he was entering even though the form asked for it.

Painter also stated on the form that he was submitting his intention to run in a “2024” election. The actual city council election is in November 2023.

Kilgore asserted in her complaint that the state clearly notes on the form that “incomplete forms will not be processed” and Painter’s DOI is, in fact, incomplete. Kilgore also questions the accuracy of the data provided by Painter on the DOI form, some of which is nonexistent or inaccurate.

The complaint maintains that Painter’s inability to properly complete the initial DOI form disqualifies his candidacy because no one can qualify for any election in the state without first properly completing a DOI form.

Looking at Painter’s other required candidate forms, there is confusion throughout. Sometimes he checks the “Republican” box and other times he checks the “Non-Partisan” box. His name is also listed differently on the various candidate documents. On a couple of the state forms he never lists the specific race he is campaigning for in Peachtree City.

So, what now?

I opened the required documentation posted by the other Peachtree City candidates. It appears only Painter failed to provide the basic information on the DOI. I cannot recall ever seeing a case where a candidate made such errors.

Kilgore has asked the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission for an expedited hearing on Painter’s status as a candidate and that Painter not appear on the ballot.

In the era of contested elections and public distrust, it will be interesting to see how the commission handles this complaint. There is little doubt the DOI form is not accurate or complete.

I spoke to a representative of the State Ethics Commission about this matter. I was told that neither the state nor the local election official (city clerk) is responsible for reviewing forms as they are turned in on the mandatory schedule. They simply post and file the documents as presented.

The candidate is solely responsible for each form as submitted. Documents are reviewed by the state when there is a challenge to the veracity of the candidate’s submission as in the case with Painter.

I sent an email to candidate Painter along with a copy of the state ethics complaint requesting comment for this column. I did not receive a reply by the time of submission.

Do your duty, vote

Early voting is from October 16 to November 3, and Election Day is November 7.

Stay tuned to The Citizen website for more information on the candidates each week.

[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners. You can read all his columns by clicking on his photo below.]


  1. I know [Deleted name-calling] Steve drives readership, but at what point is enough enough Cal? This is such a blatant hit piece, it really drags this local institution through the mud. And for what? To help prop up Steve’s favorite local [Deleted name-calling] against a seemingly normal and respectable candidate? Sad. People like Painter used to be classic examples of candidates you want to run for local elected office and now they are dragged through the mud because they don’t think JFK Jr is going to be VP in 2024. Clean it up Cal. [Roger that. Your post is cleaned up.]

  2. The paperwork errors don’t reflect well on Mr Painter, but I don’t believe he should be disqualified if he corrects them in a timely way. Let us decide that in November.

    What interests me is where Mr Painter stands on the key issues for PTC, which I did not find in his announcement here in the Citizen. The closest to a specific position there is that he is for “wise” city finance, which is open to many interpretations.

    Unfortunately for him, some of his backers in this Comments section take some odd positions on his behalf. Does Mr Painter agree that zoning codes are a trivial hindrance? Why shouldn’t the property tax millage rate have been rolled back given the spike in property values?

    Even worse is the mud being flung at Ms Brown by non-candidates who clearly have a personal agenda (You get a variance! And you get a variance! … everyone gets a variance!!) and who consistently oppose a conservative approach to government.

    No need to have attended a council meeting to run? Council only deals with “3rd grade issues”? Yikes!

    I would like to see Mr Painter address our pressing issues, as Ms Brown and Ms Johnson have done (Johnson, in my opinion, gave the best-written introduction in the Citizen). Don’t let the louder elements of our community define you, Mr Painter.

  3. Kim Leonard ran on ‘NOT’ building up PTC and fixing the traffic problem on the 54-74, bless her heart!

    The democrats in PTC are well organized. They have their own ‘Democrats of PTC’ Facebook page.

    The moral of this story is if you’re happy with the ideology of the Left then keep voting them up and PTC will become a city embedded with that ideology. The quaint city we once new is slowly disappearing or have you Leftists not noticed?

    Yes, be careful who you vote for in November and I suggest the republicans, conservatives or traditional voters get their game together or PTC will be overrun by these people with Democrat ideology.

    Look around, taxes are high, crime is higher than ever, it’s plain to see that the Democratic controlled PTC council is bad for all.

    2021 vs 2022
    Part 1 serious crimes up 3%
    Calls for service up 12.6%
    Theft by taking: up 43%
    Fraud up 26%
    Entering auto up 29%

    And now a few messages from our local PTC Democrat party.

  4. I live in Planterra Ridge along with Vic Painter and have known his family for a few years. I can attest Vic is a family man that is a part of the younger generation living in PTC. He wants what is best for his family, neighborhood, and community. Hence, he is running for city council to make a positive impact.

    As for me, I don’t think writing his name as Vic Painter instead of Victor Painter or accidently dating the form 2024 instead of 2023 is a deal breaker. His website has a contact page where you can directly email him any concerns or thoughts.

    Josh Bloom

  5. Let’s just face it. A vote for Suzanne Brown is the equivalent of a vote for Marjorie Green – it is a vote for a constant complainer with plenty of grievances but with no viable answers. So if you like constant drama with no appreciable results, Suzanne is your champion.

  6. Suzanne has attended multiple meetings and knows what is going on in the community.
    This is what happens when someone is over the target, they get condemned. Typical MO of the Democratic Party.
    Also, where was Tamara Moore last night? She didn’t even show up to the City Council meeting last night?

    • Fiona66-It’s a narrative often used…attendance at council meetings. There is zero need or purpose for someone running for office to attend council meetings. It’s equivalent is like someone attending trials in a courtroom because they want to be a lawyer.

      First of all, each agenda item stands on it’s own. However, that being said, the issues dealt with at council meetings is 3rd grade level issues.

      The truth is you only have one Democrat out of the 5 but some of the Republicans are hell bent on taking away property rights. They think that the government knows better than anyone else which is much more in tune with a far-left philosophy.

      You candidate, Ms. Browne thinks government should control everything. Ms. Browne is against every variance request to date. In many cases it’s government over-reach. One must ask, where is the harm when granting o denying a variance.

      More importantly Ms. Browne claims that granting a variance sets a precedence, it does not. Ms. Browne may want to research real-estate law because going to the council meetings have been no benefit as it relates to variances. Ms. Browne is creating a false narrative.

      • I have often asked myself, and sometimes others, the same as Dar suggests, “…, where is the harm when granting or denying a variance.” To me, denying every variance request is like shooting yourself in the foot, or, severing one’s own head. What was once considered efficient in the past isn’t necessarily currently sufficient.

  7. And a vote for Vic Painter is a vote for Kim Learnard. The same person who is aligning herself with many Democrat mayors for gun restriction laws. Dar is a developer who wants $. There is a reason Dar Thompson keeps getting rejected every time he runs for local office. His great ideas include building a private ice rink for him with public tax dollars and giving the real estate developers anything they want.
    He’s a broken record. Give it a rest Dar. Bernard cracks me up “Politics at its ugliest.” You just hate truth. Looks like Steve has done his homework once again. People need to be aware of what’s happening here in PTC or else we are going to end up like Cumming. Thanks for the transparency Steve.

    • Fiona66-More misdirection and misinformation. You may what to get your facts straight. First of all, I am not a developer, nor do I even have a contractor, or real-estate license.

      Yes, I was defeated in a mayoral election and look what you got. No annexation of Fischer Crossing which would have meant about $3,000,000 to the city of revenue on an annual basis. It would have been considered as a deal worth over $120,000,000 to Peachtree City. Now you get to pay more taxes while money leaves our city to go next door. Great job in that election.

      As with your beloved Mayor Fleish we now have Booth Middle School in the middle of a neighborhood, something that would have never happened on my watch. The school would have been placed in the center of town next to PTC Elementary where the BOE wanted it. So the city suffers the cost of bad decisions at the ballot box.

      In closing, it is obvious you are clueless to the facts as it relates to the ice rink (BTW-I already have one now). I was actually donating $4,000,000 to the city. The city would own the building and the rink, You may want to work on getting your facts straight, seems apparent that facts don’t matter much to you.

  8. Okay Stevie B, post of a copy of the form so we can see for ourselves. If the candidate can’t fill out the form properly, they certainly do not need to hold office. Then again, the President of the US has difficulty completing a sentence properly so the candidate you speak of may just be qualified.

  9. Politics at its ugliest – in Peachtree City

    It’s election season in Peachtree City! On November 7, 2023, Peachtree City citizens will go to the polls and elect two new City Council members. Post 1 candidates are, in alphabetical order, Eric Imker, Laura Johnson, and Tamara Moore. Post 2 candidates are Suzanne Brown and Vic Painter. Peachtree City voters can cast their vote in both races once early voting starts on October 16. And, I agree with Steve Brown-vote.
    As a 2 term County Commissioner in another Georgia county, I realize that most Georgians do not know much about the candidates or the issues. And that’s why I have chosen to comment regarding Post 2.
    At this early stage of the election campaigns in Peachtree City, Post 2 candidate Vic Painter appears to be gaining public support and momentum. From what I have heard, Vic is a nice guy. He and his wife, Sara, are raising an eight-year-old daughter; Vic has been her soccer coach for many years. He is a banker, providing loans for small- and family-owned businesses. He is also active in his church, important to many in PTC.
    Vic made a positive name for himself in the Planterra Ridge subdivision in the last 14 months, advocating for safer streets in that subdivision. He is smart and energetic.
    Vic represents the typical PTC resident, a family with children who participate in our renowned recreation programs and enjoy our family-oriented events and facilities. He is campaigning on keeping our community safe, improving traffic, investing in parks and recreation, and wise budgeting, among other issues listed on his website. Who can argue with that?
    Suzanne Brown is running on a list of non-existent crises. She claims to want to roll back the millage rate (which in my opinion as former Chair of the ACCG Tax Committee is already very low) without sharing where she would cut city staff or services. That sounds typical of many politicians in Washington who claim to want a balanced budget but refuse to raise revenue or cut specific programs.
    She accuses the Mayor and Council of wanting high density housing, when zero apartments have been approved in the last 15 years and zero projects are even in the pipeline. And no one is advocating for apartments. Crying wolf when there are none seems to be her specialty.
    Worst of all, Brown is an election conspiracy theorist and said to be a member of the antisemitic USEIP group that advocates voter suppression. She has gone out of bounds with her comments not only at City Council meetings but also at Fayette County School Board and Fayette County Elections Board meetings.

    In the latter, she is on record as threatening Elections Board members with, “You can choose to work with us or against us, one choice may be more painful for you than the other.”( This inexcusable language encourages violence and is reminiscent of what we heard by Proud Boy leaders before the violent Capitol insurrection.

    Instead of running on the issues that are important to Peachtree City citizens, Brown enlisted a friend to file a complaint with the State Ethics Commission claiming that Vic Painter should be prevented from running for office – because he didn’t fill out his paperwork correctly. You see, he filed as “Vic Painter” instead of his full name. And he mistakenly wrote “2024” as the election year instead of “2023.” That’s about it, folks.
    If Ms. Brown believed she had a better campaign strategy, better ideas for Peachtree City, or that she better represented the will of the citizens, she would be campaigning on those points. But she doesn’t. That should tell all of us all we need to know about her.
    Peachtree City citizens now know exactly who they are dealing with in Post 2. There is likely to be backlash to Ms. Brown’s actions, as citizens know the difference between an honest campaign like Painter’s, and underhanded tactics like Brown’s. Our citizens know the difference between a candidate who runs on the issues, and a candidate focused on back-room maneuvers. Our citizens know the difference between right and wrong.

    • Let’s not forget the over $4,000 Brown cost PTC taxpayers with the frivolous Pizza-gate ethics complaint. A complaint which was roundly rejected by the hearing officer. Our reward was his bill for services.

  10. Steve-There were no rumors flying around about Vic Painter’s paperwork as a candidate. Everyone knows this is you as a part of Suzanne Bowne’s team and an advocate of trying to get her elected. It’s ironic her friend Elaine Kilgore is the individual who filed an ethics complaint.

    This is just another round of Don Haddix type of governing.

    It appears your candidate is grasping at straws. A true “Leader” would never attempt to create such a false narrative. This is all the gunpowder you have, an incorrect date and your team files an ethics complaint.

    Is your candidate so weak, the only way she can win is if she is the only name on the ballot?

    At one point you had a copy of an “Order” by Federal Judge Batten of a mayor involved in Trademark Infringement and Interference in an Election” but you chose to bury that information to the public because it did not fit your narrative, nor offer any benefit. Now, you try to make yourself look as though you are a protector of the people.

    When on county commission, the county had to create special provisions because you were becoming a detriment to the political process. You stated the West F’ville Bypass was a total waste of money and a road to nowhere. You voted against it. The added value, in the county, because of the West F’ville Bypass is in the billions of dollars.

    All citizen’s need to know, is that a vote for Suzanne Bowne is a vote for Steve Brown.