Sonny Pittman out of race to temporarily fill District 7 seat

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Sonny Pittman announced he's out of the running for interim District 7 Augusta commissioner.

"I just don't want to participate in this very unsavory method the Augusta commissioners and the mayor are using to appoint an interim commissioner for West Augusta's District 7 seat," Pittman said.

Pittman resigned officially Sunday night. In an email to commissioners he said, "I had hoped you would employ a more professional approach to this important appointment. I believe you have done the so called 'candidates' a great disservice by turning your selection process into nothing more than a very public political horse trading side show."

The District 7 seat opened up Sept. 8 after former Commissioner Donnie Smith stepped down amid allegations he faked time sheets while working for Georgia State Patrol.

Pittman said he doesn't think someone running for the seat in March should temporarily fill it.

"In my opinion, the person they appoint in the interim needs to be someone who's focused on doing the job - the best job for the city - and who will help work on the problems they face," Pittman said. "They face about five or six very serious issues they have to deal with."

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said he doesn't disagree.

"If someone is sitting in that seat and they plan on running for election in March, they really do have an advantage over other candidates because they're effectively an incumbent," Mayor Copenhaver said, "but what I wouldn't want to see is all their decisions made based upon, 'Am I going to get re-elected in March?'"

But Pittman said he doesn't think that's true.

"This is all about horse trading and doing what's best for them," Pittman said. "They have no intent in my perception of doing what's best for citizens and tax payers of West Augusta."

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