Fleming, who finished one term on the Marietta school board for Ward 5 before being drawn out of the district by the City Council, topped 50 percent with 142 votes to Lewis’s 141 votes.
“I am glad I voted,” Fleming said.
Janine Eveler, director of the Cobb Board of Elections, said there is an automatic recount if the results are less than a 1 percent difference, which is the case for this race.
“They seldom make a mistake, but I will ask for a recount,” Lewis said Tuesday night.
“I want to make sure whatever the results are that they are true,” said Fleming, as he headed to Mayor Steve Tumlin’s victory party at the Marietta Museum of History.
Fleming said he won the majority of support from Ward 1 because residents were happy to have a choice in an election for the first time since Lewis took office in 2006.
Fleming’s support from city officials was evident in his campaign finance reports, which included a $500 contribution from Tom Browning, chairman of the Downtown Marietta Development Authority.
Lewis said Fleming was a good opponent, and as far as regrets in this campaign, she added, “You always wish you could get out and meet people more.”
Fleming said he has the highest respect for Lewis, but his campaign “had to outwork the competition.”
Coleman keeps his seat
Besides the defeat of incumbent Lewis, two other long-serving councilmen were also replaced in this election. Michelle Cooper Kelly, who ran unopposed for retiring Councilman Jim King’s Ward 6 seat, and Realtor Johnny Walker, who ran unopposed for retiring Councilman Johnny Sinclair’s seat.
One incumbent, who has three terms on the council, kept his seat in Ward 5 with just a 5 percent margin.
Anthony Coleman received 245 votes to his opponent’s 219 votes. Coleman’s challenger, Doug Martin, served in the U.S. Marines and ran for Marietta City School Board in 2009.
According to Martin’s campaign contribution reports, he received many $1,000 and $2,500 checks from individuals in Lawrenceville and Acworth.
Coleman said a crowd of friends and family were gathered at Union Chapel United Methodist Church, just north of the 120 loop, to celebrate his victory Tuesday night.
“We are just breaking bread and rejoicing in the sweet victory,” Coleman said.
Coleman said he will continue to make his district a better community and part of a better city.
The widest margin
Tuesday evening, just an hour before the polls closed at 7 p.m., many residents were pulling into the parking lot of the Murray Arts Center at Mount Paran Christian School, across Stilesboro Road from the Marietta County Club.
David and Cindy Sinister, who have lived in Ward 4 for eight years, said they vote every election year because they care about their community.
“We like to think we have an impact,” Cindy Sinister said.
Usually a morning voter in line by 7:01 a.m., Carolyn Attaway was a last-minute voter this year in Ward 4.
“I believe that voting is a privilege that a lot of people around the world do not have,” Attaway said. “I would not feel right sitting at home.”
In Ward 4, incumbent Andy Morris beat challenger Marshall Dye by more than 16 percent, a difference of 248 votes.
Both Morris and Dye were supporters of the $68 million bond that is to be used to redevelop Franklin Road.