10 Republican State Senators Helped Quash Georgia’s Buckhead Bill

CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, Bill White, unveils new Buckhead City signage at a Rep

Ten Republican Georgia senators joined all Democrats this past week in dealing a legislative blow to the Buckhead City Committee, which has long been pushing for the wealthy Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta to disannex from the city.

The state Senate on Thursday voted 33–23 against SB 114, a critical bill for the Buckhead City Committee, whose aim is to see a ballot referendum for neighborhood residents to vote on the creation of Buckhead City.

“We are of course disappointed in the results of the Senate vote today, but we will never give up until Buckhead gets to VOTE,” the committee said in a statement after the bill’s failure.

Committee CEO Bill White, a Buckhead resident, is largely responsible for organizing what started as a grassroots movement more than a decade ago into a well-funded and vocal committee in 2021 in response to a surge in violent crime in the area.

“There is no leadership here in Atlanta,” White told Breitbart News in 2021. “No one is taking any corrective kind of actions on resources for police, allowing them to do their job,” he added, explaining how Buckhead City would have its own police department.

Thursday’s vote was a significant setback for White and the committee, but White is vowing not to give up.

After Thursday’s vote, he identified the ten Republican senators in a post on social media, noting that they effectively voted against the outcome of a GOP advisory question that was on last year’s primary ballot.

The senators were:

  • Bo Hatchett
  • Brian Strickland
  • Chuck Hufstetler
  • Frank Ginn
  • John Albers
  • Kay Kirkpatrick
  • Larry Walker III
  • Mike Dugan
  • Mike Hodges
  • Shelly Echols

Ginn, one of the Republican opponents of the bill, called the legislation “real troublesome” and said “Atlanta would die” if it lost Buckhead, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported.

“This makes no sense politically, operationally or financially,” Albers, another GOP opponent, said per the outlet.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens (D), who has vowed to focus on reducing city crime, is also one of many city leaders who are strongly opposed to carving Buckhead out of Atlanta, a move that would decimate the city’s revenue intake.

Under Dickens, Atlanta has seen a decrease in most types of violent crime; however, the city saw homicides increase in 2022 for the third year in a row.

Buckhead City detractors, such as Dickens and some of the opposing Republican senators, were bolstered ahead of Thursday’s vote by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), whose executive council sent a memo to the Senate, obtained by the AJC, that laid out numerous legal questions about the logistics of Buckhead’s hypothetical disannexation.

Kemp, a widely popular governor who recently won reelection, has long declined to take a stance on Buckhead cityhood as the legislative process played out, so the memo marked an escalation in the governor’s approach.

About a year ago, Kemp told Breitbart News he felt debate about Buckhead City was a positive for Atlanta in the wake of Dickens taking office.

“We passed a bill last year that doesn’t allow rogue local governments to defund the police, and that’s one of the reasons it’s good this debate’s going on and why I haven’t interfered one way or another, is the mayor needs to feel the pressure on this issue,” Kemp said at the time.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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