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At least 6 cities will have new mayors

LAWRENCEVILLE - For six Gwinnett and Barrow cities this election season, a new leader at the helm is inevitable.

Six current mayors decided against re-election in the area, and another half-dozen council members also stepped away from city politics.

Public battles had already begun between Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer and hopeful Bruce Garraway, who ran side-by-side for years but will now square off in Snellville.

Norcross also promises a blockbuster for mayor, with a rematch between long-time incumbent Lillian Webb and former councilman Michael Lovelady. A third candidate, Bucky Covington, also qualified for the office.

Races are set to replace Auburn's Harold Money, Lilburn's Jack Bolton, Duluth's Shirley Lasseter and Suwanee's Nick Masino, as well as Bethlehem's Wayne Ridgeway and Winder's Buddy Ouzts.

Only two mayors remain safe after last week's qualifying period - Berkeley Lake's Lois Salter and Grayson's Jim Hinkle.

While the candidates were unopposed in Buford, Braselton and Loganville, planned referenda mean voters can go to the polls in every city this coming November.