Political newcomers look to bring change to Kennesaw, Powder Springs

Antonio Jones was elected to the Kennesaw City Council's Post 4 seat. (Courtesy, Antonio Jones for Kennesaw Post 4)
caption arrowCaption
Antonio Jones was elected to the Kennesaw City Council's Post 4 seat. (Courtesy, Antonio Jones for Kennesaw Post 4)

Credit: Matt Bruce

Credit: Matt Bruce

The third time was the charm for Antonio Jones last week when he knocked off incumbent Chris Henderson to win the Post 4 Kennesaw City Council election.

The 32-year-old New Orleans native who’s lived in Kennesaw off and on since he was about 7, mounted two prior runs for City Council. Both of them were unsuccessful.

Jones finally pushed through by touting an agenda of fiscal responsibility, solar street lights, energy efficient municipal buildings, more sidewalks and bike lanes, and term limits for council members.

“I think the city just wanted something different,” Jones told the AJC. “I think they wanted a diverse council and they wanted to have younger ideas.”

Jones is a political activist and with over 1,000 hours of community service. He was a board member of the city’s Citizens Advisory Committee. He’ll push to bolster Kennesaw’s infrastructure and advocate for sustainable growth and more efficient city services.

Jones made his debut in Kennesaw politics in 2017, running against Pat Ferris for the Post 3 seat. Ferris won outright, eating up nearly 56% of the vote in the three-candidate race.

Two years later, Jones met the same fate when he took on James “Doc” Eaton, who was seeking his second term as Post 1 councilman. Eaton collected over 55% of the vote to claim victory.

“Those are household names in the city. So going up against them was pretty much like walking into a brick wall,” Jones said of Ferris and Eaton. “I already knew that in the beginning, but I had to get my name out there.”

This time, Jones benefitted from having a team that helped him campaign, unlike his first two runs when he was a “one-man show.” He topped Henderson with over 55% of the vote.

“I think once I put my team together, it helped out tremendously,” Jones said. “The last two times I ran, I didn’t have that backing behind me. I did everything myself, which left me with less time to talk to the voters.”

Narrow victory in Powder Springs

For Dwayne Green, the magic number was six.

That’s how many votes separated him from Ward 3 Powder Spring City Councilwoman Nancy Farmer in their race last week.

Green, the owner and director of the Greener Pastures funeral home in downtown Powder Springs, finished with 258 to Farmer’s 252.

“It was a narrow margin, but a win’s a win,” Green said.

The unofficial margin of victory was about 1.2%. According to Janine Eveler, Cobb County’s elections director, Farmer can’t request a recount unless the margin narrows to 0.05% or less when the votes are certified.

The Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration certified the election results Monday.

Green moved to Powder Springs eight years ago to open his own funeral home. Since then, he’s built a small empire along Marietta Street. He owns a crematory, boutique and bought the old Magnolia House of Powder Springs.

Green says his strong financial background and managerial skills from being a business owner and running many of the largest funeral homes in metro Atlanta will help him promote fiscal responsibility as a Powder Springs councilman. As a member of the city’s Downtown Development Authority, Green said he also helped bring the Hardy Family Automotive Amphitheater to Thurman Springs Park.

“I’ve invested quite a bit into historic downtown Powder Springs, so I’m concerned about the well-being of the direction of the city,” Green said. “We want to continue with the progress of the city.”

Farmer was vying for her second term. She unseated Nancy Hudson in 2017 to follow in the footsteps of her late husband Bob Farmer, who vaulted into the Ward 3 council seat during a July 2000 special election and held the seat until he stepped down in January 2010.

A development in Farmer’s district that recently went before City Council may have factored into the razor-thin margin of victory. The Native Development Group, an Alpharetta-based developer, intends to build a 338,550 square-foot logistics center and a 60,000-square-foot warehouse on 126.7 acres of undeveloped land along Oglesby Road.

No vote has been taken on proposed development. Yet the prospect of a massive distribution center incensed hundreds of residents living in Springbrook Estates, a neighboring subdivision of single-family homes.

Farmer did not return calls for comment.

ExploreFrustrated Powder Springs residents confront distribution center developer

Green pointed to Farmer’s record, saying she was an obstacle to the city’s evolution.

“Here in Powder Springs, people truly love the progress that’s going on,” he said. “The person that I ran against, they voted no pretty much on over 60% of issues that were presented. The amphitheater itself, (she) voted no.”

caption arrowCaption
Longtime funeral home director Dwayne Green shares his ambitions for Powder Springs City Council. (Courtesy, Greener Pastures Funeral Home)

Credit: Matt Bruce

Longtime funeral home director Dwayne Green shares his ambitions for Powder Springs City Council. (Courtesy, Greener Pastures Funeral Home)
caption arrowCaption
Longtime funeral home director Dwayne Green shares his ambitions for Powder Springs City Council. (Courtesy, Greener Pastures Funeral Home)

Credit: Matt Bruce

Credit: Matt Bruce

About the Author

Editors' Picks