Lisa Cupid, a joint-degree student with the College of Law and Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, beat political veteran Woody Thompson in the Democratic primary runoff for the southwest Cobb County Commission seat on Aug. 21.
Cupid, a Georgia Institute of Technology graduate, is working to complete her J.D. and master's of public administration in December. A member of the College of Law's Urban Fellows program, she won the primary with 3,065 votes or 76 percent to Thompson's 988 votes or 24 percent.
"When you see the numbers it is quite shocking," Cupid says. "My campaign and I worked hard enough but you never know what is happening with the other campaign. I did not expect the disparity in the results."
Cupid says the time was right for change in her district. "Our area had been falling behind the rest of Cobb County for quite some time. The difference between South Cobb and the rest of Cobb are seen in its upkeep and the quality of development it attracts.."
She decided to run for office after not seeing significant district improvements despite trying to address concerns through serving as her homeowners' association president, working through various nonprofits, and speaking at county meetings.
"The more I got involved the more apparent it became that there was a disconnect with what the community wanted and what county leadership was doing," Cupid says.
"Lisa is smart, professional, and extremely hard-working," says Kelly Timmons, associate dean for students. "The GSU law community is proud of Lisa's accomplishment, and we are confident that her law school training will serve her well in new role."
She expects her M.P.A./J.D. from Georgia State to help her. "Having both degrees puts me in a position to think critically yet be open minded when looking at the issues rather than viewing them from one paradigm" Cupid says. "
Cupid is expected to take office in January since she is running unopposed in the general election. Her victory creates a female majority on the commission, but she will be the only Democrat serving in Cobb.
Only one other county, Baldwin County, has a female majority on its commission.
In her first year, Lisa plans to focus on improving the appearance of District 4 through code enforcement and low-cost rehabilitation efforts such as streetscaping.
"The district's appearance affects how welcoming it is to those who live and visit here ," Cupid says. "Its overall look doesn't reflect the people here and scares economic development away. Developers will not get a sense of the assets in our district if its main corridors appear uninviting. Appearance is important to create an environment that will improve the number of jobs in the area."
Cupid has been a part-time student since 2007, and is the recipient of the David Maleski Scholarship. She is married to Craig Cupid (J.D. '09). They have two sons, Nehemiah, 3, and Noah, 2.