Cobb candidates qualify: 29 will run for seats in five cities

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Twenty municipal offices will be up for grabs in Cobb County when voters hit the polls Nov. 2 to elect city officials in Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta and Powder Springs.

A total of 29 candidates qualified to put their names on the ballot after qualifying ended Thursday for races in the five cities. At stake in each of the races are four-year terms of office that begin Jan. 1.

Ten incumbents spread throughout the cities will be unchallenged in the November election. That includes Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood, who is currently serving in his fifth unopposed term, according to the city’s website.

Allegood is one of two mayors in Cobb up for re-election. The other is Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin, who is vying for his fourth term. He’ll square off against Marietta’s Ward 6 Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly, who qualified to challenge Tumlin for his seat.

All seven City Council posts are also up for election in Marietta. Three incumbents — Ward 1 Councilwoman Cheryl Richardson, Ward 3 Councilman Johnny Walker and Ward 7 Councilman Joseph Goldstein — are unopposed to retain their seats. Two hopefuls qualified for both the Ward 2 and Ward 4 races, and a pair of newcomers are challenging the Ward 5 seat holder. A local realtor was the only candidate who qualified to fill Cooper Kelly’s Ward 6 seat.

In other city races:

Acworth has two alderman races. Two candidates qualified for the Post 4 run, and incumbent Post 5 Alderman Tim Houston was the lone qualifier for his seat.

In Austell, council seats for Ward 1, Ward 3 and at-large Post 1 were on the line. Each seat had one candidate qualify, including two incumbents and a newcomer for the Ward 3 seat.

Five candidates qualified for three council elections in Kennesaw. The incumbent for Post 3 will go unchallenged. The Post 4 and Post 5 elections each drew two qualifiers.

In Powder Springs, incumbents were the only qualifiers for the Ward 1 and Ward 2 council seats. Two qualified to run for Ward 3.

There will be no elections this year for the Cobb County Board of Commissioners or Smyrna’s City Council because no seats on those elected bodies are due for re-election.

Cobb County voters’ ballots will include a referendum for a new 1% education special local option sales tax, or E-SPLOST, to fund capital improvements for Cobb County and the City of Marietta school districts. The current E-SPLOST penny tax expires Dec. 31, 2023. The ballot initiative, if approved by voters, will extend it another five years.

To vote in the Nov. 2 election, voters must register by Oct. 4.

Monday was the first day absentee voters could start applying for ballots, and the deadline for absentee applicants is Oct. 22. An application to receive a mail-in ballot can be found on the Cobb elections page, https://www.cobbcounty.org/elections.

Early voting begins Oct. 12 and continues through Oct. 29. Early voting hours will be determined in September. Any runoffs will be held on Nov. 30.