Incumbents Sweep Elections, Sunday Sales a Go
The city of Kennesaw saw a record turnout with more than 3,000 voters.
Incumbent Mayor Mark Mathews and City Council members Cris Eaton-Welsh and Tim Killingsworth won Tuesday's elections in an across-the-board sweep, while Sunday sales passed with 73 percent of the vote.
The city also saw a record 19 percent turnout for municipal elections with 3,015 out of 15,748 registered voters showing up to the polls. Less than 2,000 voters showed up during the mayoral election four years ago when Mathews unseated then-mayor Leonard Church.
Mathews defeated Church for the third time on Tuesday, securing more than 65 percent of the vote. During the last mayoral race, Church contested the election results due to some residents not being properly classified as voters, resulting in a new election.
Chiropractor and downtown business owner Eaton-Welsh won the Post 1 council seat with a landslide 77 percent victory over challenger Kim Gollahon. Post 2 council member Killingsworth defeated local barber shop owner Jimmy Dickens with 57 percent of the vote.
"I think the message that was sent by the voters was a very strong message of support of the current team that’s in place executing a fantastic vision for Kennesaw in spite of the economy and all the issues we’re facing right now," said Mathews.
Saturday, Mathews told Patch that the city's greatest successes over the past four years have been grounded in the relationships built outside Kennesaw.
"I think really a lot of the more major accomplishments are not physical accomplishments. They’re more laying the groundwork for a long-term benefit to the city in terms of relationships outside the city limits here with people in Cobb County, the development community and the other government agencies throughout Atlanta."
"Those benefit us indirectly by bringing more recognition and more notoriety to our city and the plans to how we move forward," said Mathews, who recently announced a partnership with celebrity skateboarder Rob Dyrdek to design and build a 40,000-square-foot skate park in Swift-Cantrell Park.
Eaton-Welsh told Patch in a previous interview that she is excited to continue some of the city projects currently in the works, including the construction of a four-story parking garage in the downtown area.
"I’m ecstatic, I’m very happy," said Killingsworth, who will continue to serve on Post 2 of Kennesaw's City Council. "The voters of Kennesaw tonight told us that they like the way that things are going. I’m just very excited that we can continue to move Kennesaw forward."
Killingsworth said Dickens called him to say congratulations. "He was very gracious," said Killingsworth.
"I am thankful for the 1200-plus people who considered me to be part of the next City Council," said Dickens. "They believed in me, and I respect that and I appreciate them so much."
"I look forward to working with the current council," he said. "I look forward to running again one day."
“We were hoping for better, but I guess the people wanted everything left like it was, so we just move on,” Church told the Marietta Daily Journal.
“It’s disappointing, but the sun’s going to come up tomorrow. ‘Tomorrow’s another day,’ as Scarlett would say,” he said.
Below are the complete but unofficial results from Kennesaw's municipal elections, as reported by the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration. You can also watch our replay of live coverage from election day. We'll also be uploading video highlights later today from Mathews' election night celebration at Trackside Grill.
|# of Votes||Percentage of Votes|
|Mark Mathews (incumbent)||1955||65.49%|
|City Council, Post 1|
|Cris Eaton-Welsh (incumbent)
|City Council, Post 2|
|Tim Killingsworth (incumbent)||1652||57.32%|