In a surprise move, one of the Brookhaven City Council’s veteran members is not seeking reelection this fall.

District 3 Councilman Bates Mattison, who was first elected in 2012, the year the city incorporated, and was expected to run again, announced he is not going for another term.

“After discussing it with my family and friends, I have decided not to seek reelection for my city council seat,” Mattison said in a statement. “It has been one of my greatest honors to help start the city seven years ago working to represent the citizens of Brookhaven, but I truly want to focus on my family before my children reach college age.

“This has been difficult decision to reach, but I hope you understand my reasoning. I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Brookhaven until the end of my term and thank you all for the confidence and support you’ve given me over the past seven years.”

Mattison’s announcement came just hours before the end of the third and final day of qualifying for this year’s mayoral and city council elections. The qualifying period for the Nov. 5 nonpartisan election started Aug. 21 and ended Aug. 23 at 4:30 p.m. The mayoral and council District 1 and 3 seats are up for reelection this year, with the District 2 and 4 posts up for a vote in 2021.

At the closing of qualifying, according to an email from Brookhaven spokesman Burke Brennan, incumbents John Ernst Jr. and Linley Jones qualified for the mayoral and District 1 seats, respectively, both Aug. 21. Two days later, Jennifer Heath qualified to run for mayor, and Jones is unopposed in the election.

Two District 3 candidates, Madeleine Norine Simmons and Dimitrius Owens, qualified Aug. 21 and 22, respectively, and will face off in the race to replace Mattison.

The qualifying fees are $360 for council Districts 1 and 3 and $480 for mayor. The fees are 3% of the total gross salary of the preceding year (Georgia Election Code 21-2-131 (a) (1) (A)).

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