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Federal court hears Georgia's Cobb school district appeal in map lawsuit

Taylor Croft, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

“The school district itself chose to remove itself from the litigation and then chose not to file a renewed motion for intervention,” Gold said. “Those were strategic choices by a sophisticated party, and this court need not undo them.”

Judge Carnes said he, too, was “curious about motivations.”

“So they wanted to be denied so that they could appeal so they could drag out the proceedings?” Carnes asked.

In the first year of the case, the school district spent over $1 million in legal fees to defend the map, despite not being named in the lawsuit, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

The school board is the last governing body in Cobb County to be led by a Republican majority, further heightening the political contention over the district map. This year, three seats currently held by Republicans on the school board are up for reelection.

 

David Banks will not seek reelection for his Post 5 seat, leaving Republican John H. Cristadoro and Democrat Laura Judge to face off. Republican incumbent Randy Scamihorn is being challenged by Democrat Vickie H. W. Benson for Post 1. And in Post 7, Republican incumbent Brad Wheeler is challenged by Democrat Andrew Cole. Leroy “Tre’” Hutchins, the Democrat incumbent who represents Post 3, is not facing an opponent.

The conflict over the map has turned nasty at times: the school district sparked outrage after it sent a mass email to parents deriding “leftist political activists” and condemning the elections board for its decision to settle the case.

At one point in 2023, every electoral map in Cobb County — from the local county commission to U.S. Congressional districts — was facing litigation in court, spotlighting political partisanship as the metro Atlanta suburb shifted politically from a Republican stronghold to majority-Democratic county.


©2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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