The Fascinating History of Political Parties in Fulton County, Georgia

Fulton County, located in the Piedmont region of Georgia, is home to the bustling city of Atlanta and has a long and varied history of political parties. In 1932, the county annexed Milton County to the north and Campbell County to the southwest, as an austerity measure during the Great Depression. This resulted in the county's current elongated shape along 80 miles (130 km) of the Chattahoochee River. In 1992, Fulton County made history by electing the first African-American woman, Jacquelyn Harrison Barrett, to the position of sheriff in United States history. The county is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners, whose members are elected from single-member districts.

The chairman of the Board of Commissioners is generally elected to office throughout the county and the vice-president is elected by his peers once a year. Since the 1970s, residents of Sandy Springs have waged a long battle to incorporate their community as a city, which would make it independent of the control of the county council. Some residents of the northern suburbs of Fulton have advocated that they be allowed to separate and reform Milton County, after the county that was absorbed by Fulton County in 1932 during the Great Depression. The main opponents of the proposed division of the county come from residents of southern Fulton County, who claim that the proposed separation is racially motivated. Before that vote, North Fulton, which is overwhelmingly Republican, and members of the state legislature had discussed forcing residents of South Fulton to become a city to force Fulton County to abandon the municipal services business. Atlanta is the largest city in Fulton County, occupying the narrow central section of the county and thus geographically dividing the northern and southern parts of the county.

All parts of Fulton County outside the Atlanta city limits are served by the Fulton County School System. In recent years, Fulton County has become increasingly cosmopolitan and diverse due to its location as a hub for leading companies and its highly qualified employees from across the country. This has led to an increase in political activity in both North and South Fulton. Residents of affluent areas of North Fulton are increasingly complaining that their needs are being ignored by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and that taxes collected in North Fulton are being spent on programs and services in less prosperous South Fulton. North Fulton residents have been requesting a service to extend the North Line ten miles (16 km) along the Georgia 400 corridor, from Perimeter Center to Alpharetta. This would provide better access to transportation for those living in North Fulton.

However, this proposal has been met with opposition from those living in South Fulton who fear that it would lead to further division between North and South. Fulton County has a long history of political parties and continues to be an important part of Georgia's political landscape. With its diverse population and its location as a hub for leading companies, it is sure to remain an important part of Georgia's political future.

Mike Escovar
Mike Escovar

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