A rookie to the political scene captured the most votes in Doraville’s mayoral election, but not enough win outright.
Carol Gilman, a resident of Doraville since 2007, said she is pleased with the results.
“I’ve got to be pleased with myself,” said Gilman, who spent 30 years in the business world in accounting, auditing, banking, internal consulting and business consulting before retiring a few years ago. “This is my maiden voyage.”
Gilman garnered 43 percent of the vote, while former city council members Donna Pittman and Thomas Hart received 42 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Just nine votes separated Gilman and Pittman.
Doraville held the election on June 21 to fill the remaining term of Mayor Ray Jenkins who died in February. Pittman served as acting mayor for a few months until resigning to run for the mayor’s position.
“In terms of name recognition, they were way in front of me,” Gilman said.
Gilman, who was endorsed on her website by three of the five Doraville City Council members, credited her initial success to her door-to-door campaign in the small city where she enjoyed meeting, she said, Doraville’s diverse population.
“When you walk door-to-door it’s as big as Texas,” Gilman said.
Gilman said Doraville, which has suffered financially since the closing of the General Motors plant in 2008, needs leadership from someone who has a business background.
“We must manage our city in a much more business-like manner,” Gilman said. “Doraville is metro Atlanta and needs to be a player in the regional landscape. I want to give Doraville a seat at the table.”
Pittman, who served on the Doraville City Council from 2005 until resigning in May to run for mayor, said she is looking forward to a runoff.
“I think my chances are great,” Pittman said.
Pittman said her political experience and existing relationships with political and community leaders in Doraville and DeKalb county.
“I do have those relationships already built,” Pittman said. “If you have those relationships already built, that’s vital.”
Pittman said her top concerns for Doraville are the financial state of the city the decline of neighborhoods public safety and the redevelopment of the GM facility.
“Our services to our city are what makes our city special,” Pittman said.
Although some of her former fellow councilmembers endorsed Gilman, Pittman said she still has good relationships with them.
“I still consider them my friends,” Pittman said. “They support who they support, and that’s fine.”
A runoff election is scheduled for July 19.