Former fire chief, mayor candidate Few running for mayor of new city

Mayoral candidate Ronnie Few, left, walks up a driveway before greeting a resident of Hazel Street in Augusta, Oct. 3, 2006. File/Staff

Former Augusta fire chief Ronnie Few, who came in second for mayor in 2006, is running for mayor of the newly-incorporated city of South Fulton, Ga.

 

Few is one of nine candidates to qualify for March 21 elections for mayor of South Fulton, a community of about 100,000 in formerly unincorporated areas of Fulton County, just outside Atlanta city limits. Voters approved creating the new city in November.

As Augusta’s first black fire chief, Few introduced emergency medical services to the department, which he took over in 1997 after consolidation of Augusta and Richmond County, and led until 2000.

Few left Augusta for a job as fire chief in Washington, D.C., with a glowing recommendation by former mayor Bob Young, around the time Few was the subject of a grand jury investigation into allegations he preferentially awarded raises to administration-level employees.

He left Washington after two years and reapplied for his job as Augusta fire chief in 2005, then announced plans to seek the mayor’s office in 2006.

Few garnered 18 percent of votes in the four-way race for mayor, finishing second behind incumbent Deke Copenhaver, who received 65 percent after serving the final year of Young’s term.

Few’s candidacy was challenged by activist Woody Merry after he was revealed to claim a homestead exemption on a house in Evans, but not on his Port Royal condominium in Augusta.

Few claimed the exemption was placed on his Columbia County residence in error and former District Attorney Danny Craig declined to send the case to a grand jury. Richmond County Board of Elections ruled that Few was a Richmond County resident and eligible to run for mayor.

Few grew up in East Point, Ga., and lists his current address in College Park, Ga., but continues to own the riverfront condominium in Augusta, according to tax records. He’s made occasional public appearances, such as at the 2015 dedication of the Lee Beard Commission Chamber to former commissioner Lee Beard.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

 

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