Is Donald Mitchell a Democrat? – Alpharetta Voting Records

As part of my candidate vetting effort I’ve obtained voter lists from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. I’ve looked at every candidate running for Alpharetta city office this year to see if they participate in primaries, mid-term and general elections. This should be an easy test of anyone running for public office. However occasionally candidates fail to fulfill this most basic of civic duties.

And as a general rule, nearly every candidate for Alpharetta city office this year regularly votes. That holds true for the incumbents as well at the newcomers. I will note two exceptions…

Donald Mitchell (D?-Alpharetta)

Is he a Democrat? While living in Clark County Georgia, Mitchell choose to vote in the 1998 and 2002 Democratic primaries as well as the 2004 Presidential primary that nominated John Kerry. It’s a curious fact considering north Fulton’s overwhelming Republican majority. And while city elections are usually non-partisan, voters may wish to consider this fact when deciding the post 1 race. Principals of limited government and lower taxes are pretty big on people’s minds these days. It would behoove Mr. Mitchell to explain his participation in Democratic primaries to the mostly Republican voters his wishes to represent.

According to the data I’ve obtained, Mitchell did not vote at all in Georgia from 2004 until 2008. From that point he began voting in Fulton County. It’s worth noting that in 2010 he flip flopped and voted in the Republican primary.

Hans Appen

He registered to vote here in Alpharetta when he turned 18. However, Appen has never voted in Fulton County. I asked him about this via email last week. He explained that he voted while enrolled in college in Tallahassee and Athens. I do not have the means to verify.

19 Responses to “Is Donald Mitchell a Democrat? – Alpharetta Voting Records”

  1. Kim September 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    What about politicians who profess to be Republicans or conservatives but vote for liberal policies? We seem to have a lot of that going on in GA and locally.

  2. Minerva September 21, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Sadly, this post is indicative of the mindset that feeds the “us vs. them” partisan rhetoric and ill feeling that have led to a deep schism in our country.

  3. Bob September 21, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    @Minerva, I completely agree. The post makes it sound as if the man is a criminal for quite possibly being a Democrat. There can be good people of all political stripes, but not in this 24 hour newscycle of hate environment that has become entrenched in our society.

  4. Travis Allen September 21, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    This party system nonsense is long overdue for an overhaul. Nothing makes me sicker than when an elected official casts a vote based on how his party wants him to, and not in a manner that is representative of the majority of the area he was elected to represent.

    How is anyone supposed to have faith in a system that does nothing but promote itself?

  5. Mike September 21, 2011 at 8:56 am #


    I would love to hear an example or two. Especially locally.

  6. Kim September 21, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    It has been a long time coming, but things are changing. The tea party is challenging ALL candidates, regardless of label, based on substance, not rhetoric. This is healthy for our Republic.

    The party system is a sham meant to divide the political class from the taxpayers. People are waking up and are sick of it.

  7. Lee September 21, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    We can debate the merits or problems with the two party system if yall wish. That’s fine but it wasn’t my intention in this post. My points are:

    1 – The Democratic Party’s platform is not congruent with many beliefs held by people who live in the northern burbs of Atlanta.
    2 – Donald Mitchell choose to participate in the process to nominate Democratic candidates.
    3 – He should probably explain why.

  8. Lee September 21, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    @Mike – I don’t speak for Kim, but I’ll take a stab at this…

    1 – Alpharetta routinely surrenders its autonomy to regional, state and federal authorities by adopting the urban land use plans they push.

    2 – Many argued that Alpharetta’s acceptance of Obama’s stimulus money was a violation of conservative principles.

  9. Minerva September 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Lee, are you saying that because there are many people who live in north Fulton who vote GOP, that means every elected official in north Fulton should be a Republican? There are Democrats and independents here too, even if they are a minority. Do they not deserve representation? Do we really live in such scary times that a candidate should have to “explain” why he once voted for or promoted Democrats? This is EXACTLY why municipal races are supposed to be nonpartisan, because of this unfortunate attitude.

  10. Lee September 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    I believe the voters should have a lot of options on the ballot, which is something I wrote about recently.

    If Democrats can garner a majority of the votes then they deserve to represent this area. They have not thus there are no Democrats representing north Fulton voters.

    “Do we really live in such scary times that a candidate should have to “explain” why he once voted for or promoted Democrats?”

    Absolutely yes! Once you choose to enter the political ring, I expect you to explain and justify every vote. The citizens you represent (or hope to represent) deserve no less.

  11. Kim September 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    I think Lee is a mind reader. Two excellent examples.

    Maybe it is an issue of semantics but when I say “conservative” I am referring to founding principles.

    The whole country has lost its moorings as to our founding principles. Government has grown bigger and bigger at all levels, and when government grows bigger, the individual must by necessity grow smaller.

    The structure of our city government is wrong. Not saying you voted on it or it isn’t happening elsewhere but having a city manager and an unelected bureaucratic structure is nothing more than government bloat.

    We can agree to disagree but since you asked, this is what I mean by liberal policies.

  12. Mike September 22, 2011 at 9:32 am #


    I would point out that the Alpharetta government has shrunk each year over the past several years in terms of tax revenue, residential tax burden (increased homestead exemption)and total employment. To say that it has grown bigger at ALL levels is not entirely accurate.

    In terms of government structure, how would you propose that the city manage 400+ employees. Even a McDonalds has a manager. Would you prefer to pay the mayor and council full time salaries?

  13. Bob September 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    @Kim, the tea party is challenging all parties. Really? The tea party is a core sect of the Republican party rebranded. You’re right in that they’ve driven many incumbent Republicans from power to be replaced by new Republicans, but they’ll eventually be the never giving up power fatcats that the tea party is so against. I haven’t met a single tea party member who voted for anything but a Republican before.

    @Lee, it sounds like if you’re not a Republican, you’re not welcome. That’s the way you’ve presented your piece and comments. Just because an area is dominated by a particular political slant, it doesn’t mean that they’re right about things. The same goes for an area that is heavily Democratic.

    I just see another example of us vs. them here and lets compartmentalize everyone.

  14. Kim September 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I applaud the city for living within its means. I would like to see even more tightening of the belt. We’ve certainly had to cut our living expenses way back.

    IMO, I feel that the civil sphere’s main obligation is to protect its citizens. To that end, we do not need 400 employees, not because they aren’t doing useful things, but because they are doing things that fall outside the scope of what our Founders intended for the civil sphere.

    The very use of the word employee and salary is revealing because it is contrary to the idea of being a civil SERVANT. According to our Founders, none of the positions were ever meant to be careers.

    It is widely known that the public sector is growing (not saying Alpharetta directly) while the private sector is shrinking. Furthermore, public salaries and benefits are outpacing the private sector. That is just flat out wrong.

    Then when I read stories like what was in the AJC today, it makes me want to vomit. (I applaud you for saying that we need to re-evaluate whether we are a “City of Ethics.”) Do you not see why people have disdain? That whole thing smacks of elitism.

  15. Kim September 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Bob, Yes the tea party IS challenging all politicians, regardless of label. Have you personally been to a tea party event? Don’t believe the media myths. If the replacements end up becoming corrupt, they will be targeted too. At the tea party’s core, they are against statism of any stripe.

    I agree with what you seem to be driving at in your comment, however, regarding the general corruption that seems to manifest over time. I believe that is an underlying moral problem with a society that has rejected God. In general, our representatives are a mirror of who we are collectively as a society.

  16. Kim September 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Then when I read stories like what was in the AJC today, it makes me want to vomit. (I applaud you for saying that we need to re-evaluate whether we are a “City of Ethics.”) Do you not see why people have disdain? That whole thing smacks of elitism.

    It also begs the question of what else is going on that we just don’t know about.

  17. Kim September 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    A tax reduction idea for you….

    It looks like Alpharetta should be able to reduce the local hotel/motel taxes by at least one fifth.

  18. Jon Mahn Sun September 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Kim says:

    Kim Says:

    Kim says:

    I think we know what Kim says! :)

    But seriously, local elections are non-partisan for a reason. Trying to ‘partisanize’ a local election reveals a mind that doesn’t really care about the city or its people, but cares instead only that his/her partisan ideology dominate all others no matter the cost. Potholes are not Democrats or Republicans/tea partiers. All qualified persons regardless of present or past party affiliation have the right to offer their services to the community as a candidate. This post truly reveals what is wrong with our politics. We are a great nation, but this kind of effort to discourage and demonize political participation is sad and beneath our dignity as a nation. I thank and congratulate all those of any political background who care enough to offer to serve their city. I care only about their integrity and positions on local issues that affect the city and region, not whether they agree with talk radio hosts or TV talking heads on broad issues of national policy.

  19. Ron Carter November 5, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    You are using the wrong words here. The words you should be using are “liberal” and “conservative”. Where the liberal is anxious to urbanize Alpharetta by welcoming government subsidized housing,etc.,the Conservative would want to help maintain our property values and safety by making sure that the 400 corridor is not developed into this type of development connected to downtown Atlanta by an extended Marta rail system. Issues come before Council all the time that allow liberal and conservative philosophy to influence the votes. Make sure you know the political philosophy of the candidates for whom you are voting. Since Alpharetta is arguably the most conservative community in the state of Georgia, one would think that a like-minded individual would do a better job representing the majority of the will of the voters. Ron Carter

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

Switch to our mobile site