Bacon garnered 75 percent of the votes. In second place was Donna Short Woodham, who got 17 percent, followed by veteran campaigner Alex Backry, who received just 7 percent of the votes.
Turnout was about 21 percent, with 5,501 of the city’s 26,223 registered voters going to the polls on Tuesday.
“I’ve always been humbled by growing up here and being the mayor of my hometown,” Bacon said as he celebrated at Howard’s Deli.
“I’m excited and glad it’s over and looking forward to the next term. I know we’re going to have a lot of new players. It really doesn’t bother or concern me; I think the ones who are going to come on board have the same enthusiasm as those who have just left.”
During the campaign, Bacon called this year’s election the most important he has experienced, given the struggling economy. He wanted another four years in office, he said, to see the city’s unfinished redevelopment plans through, such as Jonquil Village on Atlanta at Spring roads and Belmont Hills on Atlanta at Wind Hill roads.
Receiving nearly 80 percent of the vote spoke volumes about what Smyrna residents think of the job he is doing, said Bacon, who was first elected in 1985. However, he said he wasn’t pleased with the campaigns his opponents ran.
“I worked hard, and we got out the message,” he said. “I think both of my opponents ran a negative campaign.”
In October, Bacon weathered criticism from his two opponents and residents when he declined to participate in a televised political forum hosted by the League of Women Voters Marietta-Cobb in Marietta. He said he had a family conflict.
But that didn’t seem to bother the voters, such as Sarah Cave, who said she knows his family.
“He’s a good man,” said Cave, 44. “He’s doing a good job.”
Smyrna voter Stephen Martin said he supported Bacon because he seemed to be the most experienced candidate.
Woodham, a vocal critic of the city’s redevelopment proposals over the years, had said she planned to change city government from the inside by running for mayor. It was Backry’s third time running against Bacon. He said he didn’t like what he has seen over the years in Smyrna City Hall, particularly what he described as wasteful spending and secrecy among elected officials.
Neither Woodham nor Backry returned messages for comment.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Melleny Pritchett was challenged by political newcomer John Miller. The race came down to only three votes in favor of Pritchett, who received 207 votes, or 50.2 percent, to Miller’s 204 votes, or 49.5 percent.
“Three votes — that was close, but I’ll take it,” Pritchett said at a party at Howard’s Deli. “I thought it might be close, but I didn’t think it would be that close.”
Pritchett, a council member since 2001, though that voter apathy may have contributed to the close race.
Miller, a Wheeler High School teacher, said he wasn’t surprised that the race was close. He said he will request a recount.
“We ran a great race and Melleny did as well,” Miller said. “There are only three votes separating us right now; we’ll definitely be asking for a recount tomorrow, and I look forward to the results of that.”
In Ward 4, incumbent Councilman Michael McNabb faced three competitors who wanted to unseat him from the seat he has held since 2003. With 49 percent of the votes, he will go into a runoff on Dec. 6 against Charles “Corkey” Welch, who got 32 percent.
Welch said he expected a runoff.
“I expected to do a little better than I did — I had a little glitch with the mail-outs, about half only got out today,” Welch said Tuesday night.
“I look forward to the runoff and hopefully convincing the two people that were under me to throw their votes, or the people who voted for them, in my direction for a win in the final.”
Welch, an engineer, said during the campaign that city government needs to communicate better. He said residents deserved to be heard by elected officials and to have direct answers to their questions.
McNabb, a retired telecommunications executive, did not return a message for comment. During the campaign, he made economic redevelopment and neighborhood renovation his top issues He said the ward needed an experienced, strong city council leader.
Judith Causey Jones, a retired businesswoman who felt the city needed more open government, got 14 percent. Alex Bretch, who works in institutional asset management, received 5 percent.
The Ward 5 election was an open race for the three candidates who looked to replace Councilman Jimmy Smith, who did not seek re-election after two terms in office. The race will go to a runoff between Jason Saliba with 40 percent and Susan Dease Wilkinson with 39 percent.
“I think anytime you’ve got three or four people in a race, you kind of expect it might go that way,” Saliba said.
“I’m very happy that I made the runoff, and I’m very thankful to my friends and neighbors that turned out and voted, and we’ll go back to work in the morning.”
Saliba, a Cobb deputy assistant district attorney, said the most important issue to Ward 5 was to make sure services continue to be provided at a high level and to maintain infrastructure. He made revitalization a key issue. He also promised in the campaign to always be accessible to the public and regularly communicate via email.
Wilkinson, who spent a year on the Smyrna Educational Task Force, made business, job growth and education the key issues of her campaign.
Political newcomer Mike Hyde, a Georgia Power lineman, received 20 percent. He said he jumped into the race to because he had the knowledge and experience to represent the ward.
The decision by longtime Councilman Pete Wood not to seek re-election resulted in four candidates throwing their hat in the race. So it wasn’t that much of a surprise that the race went into a runoff as well.
Ron Fenell, who received 39 percent, will face Garry Osborne, who got 21 percent of the votes.
“I got almost 40 percent of the vote in a four-person race, and I’m pleased to be in the final faring to be considered for this post on city council,” Fenell said.
“I’ll be honored to serve, and I’ll be working hard over these next four weeks to reach as many of the voters as physically possible by Dec. 6.”
Fennel, a former two-term Georgia House representative from Brunswick, made public safety his top issue, followed by fighting any increases in property taxes, quality of life issues and jobs.
Osborne, a Campbell High School teacher, made the economy, city budget, schools and the revitalization of South Cobb Drive his major issues of the campaign.
“It’s kind of as I expected,” Osborne said of the results. “It’s not a surprise there.”
The Ward 7 campaign was notable for an incident in late October involving candidate Vic Yankouski’s wife, who was allegedly punched in the face by someone vandalizing a campaign sign. Yankouski said several of his neighborhood signs had been damaged during the campaign.
Osborne said he didn’t know what to make of the incident and said he was uncertain if it even affected the race.
“It’s kind of unbelievable,” he said. “I’m mystified, just like most other people.”
Yankouski, a retired mechanical engineer, could not be reached for comment. He received 21 percent of the votes. Ziad Joseph Salameh, an electrical engineer, ran on schools and zoning. He got 18 percent of the votes.
In addition, there were three uncontested races in Smyrna.
Andrea Blustein, an associate real estate broker, ran unopposed for the Ward 2 seat, which is currently held by Councilman Ron Newcomb, who did not seek re-election. The Ward 3 seat held by Councilwoman Teri Anulewicz, a public affairs director, was also uncontested. Ward 6 Councilman Wade Lnenicka, a businessman, also sought re-election unopposed.
In addition to choosing candidates to represent them, Smyrna residents also voted to allow Sunday alcohol sales, with 76 percent in favor and 24 percent opposed.
The law is scheduled to go into effect in Smyrna on Jan. 1.
The Smyrna City Council voted unanimously in May to place the referendum on the ballot in conjunction with the municipal election on Tuesday.
Lee Hamilton, 29, of Smyrna, said he voted in favor of the referendum. “For convenience more than anything,” he stated.
Sarah Cave also said she voted for the measure. “I don’t see any harm in it,” she said.