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Political Notebook: Garraway, Preston resign council seats to run for mayor seats

Some politicians this week made sacrifices so they could pursue higher office.

In Snellville, mayor pro tem Bruce Garraway resigned his council position at Monday night's meeting so he could run for mayor. Garraway's term would have expired at the end of the year.

"This was not an easy decision, and I did not make my final decision until recently," Garraway said. "I consulted with my family, friends and supporters, I've prayed about this and was finally persuaded by two recent developments."

The developments, Garraway said, include the success of interim city manager Jim Brooks and a recent meeting Garraway had with experts on traffic.

He is researching a concept called master traffic planning and plans to share his findings with citizens over the next few weeks in public forums.

"For too long we've accepted traffic congestion as our lot, because various agencies have told us that's all we can get. I've had enough of that," Garraway said. "We're not going to be treated like a cut-through for commuters from Walton County."

Incumbent Jerry Oberholtzer is seeking a second term. Garraway had not qualified for the mayoral race as of the end of the day Wednesday.

While she did not do it in a public setting, Diana Preston resigned from the Lilburn City Council so she could run for mayor there.

The Lilburn and Snellville charters differ, allowing another mayoral hopeful, Ken Swaim, to keep his post, since his term will expire at the end of the year. Preston's term, though, would end in 2009.

The City Council will set the special election to replace her at its Sept. 10 meeting, but officials said the tentative plans are to hold a qualifying period at the end of September and to also place the council contest on the November ballot.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Staff Correspondent Carole Townsend contributed to this report.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.