Gay civic activist launches bid for Fulton County Commission

Josh McNair – a neighborhood activist, Morehouse College graduate and gay man – jumped into the race to fill an open seat on the Fulton County Commission. 

On Tuesday, McNair made public his campaign to fill the unexpired term of Joan Garner, who represented District 4 on the commission.

“I’m running because I believe it's time we restore pride in being a resident of Fulton County. We live in the largest county in our state: for me, that means every one of our residents should enjoy top-quality county services," McNair said in his campaign announcement. 

McNair said his work with his neighborhood association, area Neighborhood Planning Unit and the Democratic Party helped prepare him for the campaign.

“I have spent many years as a progressive leader in Fulton County. From working to elect Democratic candidates around the state to serving as an officer of my neighborhood association, I am prepared to do what it takes to tackle our issues and improve our communities," McNair said.

McNair, who lives in the West End, graduated with honors from Morehouse in 2006. He is a virology clinical consultant for Monogram Biosciences, where he sells HIV and HCV tests.

Garner died April 18 after a two-year battle with cancer. Garner became the commission's first-ever openly LGBT member when she won election in 2010. She coasted to re-election in 2014 and faced no opposition in 2016 November when she won a third term. In January, colleagues elected Garner as the commission's vice chair. Friends, family, supporters and scores of elected officials commemorated Garner's social justice work during a memorial service in early May.

A special election to fill the remainder of Garner's term is set for Nov. 7.

McNair is among several LGBT candidates seeking office this year.