Cupid, a Georgia Tech engineering graduate who is finishing up graduate degrees in law and public administration, won the Democratic primary runoff with 3,065 votes (76%). Thompson, a real estate broker, had 988 votes (24%).
Because no Republican qualified for the November election, Cupid is expected to take office in January for a four-year term. She was also the top vote-getter in the July 31 Democratic primary, outpacing the six-person field with 40 percent of the vote. Thompson won 27 percent on July 31.
Cupid compared her runoff win to her days running track in high school in Michigan, when she said she started out with a lot of heart but little success.
“As I started to become a better athlete, I started to get a lot more attention from people and a lot more support,” she said after addressing supporters at her campaign headquarters in downtown Austell. “My father told me everybody loves a winner, and I feel like the success of July 31 brought a lot of people out to support what they felt was the winner.”
Cupid thanked about 40 supporters who stayed through the night, watching her lead slowly increase each time voting results were updated on the Secretary of State’s website. Before leading them in a prayer, she referenced statements Thompson had made about Cupid’s ability to serve while mothering two young children.
“I feel like it is because of my kids, it has made me stronger,” she said. “I’ve learned in life it’s not just about you. It’s about all the people in life that God puts in your path.”
But Cupid hopes to work with Thompson over the next few months to make sure she can continue some of the projects he started. She also hopes to work with the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, where she is a graduate student, to assess some of the southwest Cobb district’s needs.
Thompson, meanwhile, hosted about 20 people at Paco’s Mexican restaurant near his Mableton home on Tuesday night, and as results came in he admitted to being taken aback at Cupid’s margin of victory.
The district’s demographics have changed since 2004, when he was a Republican but lost his bid for a third consecutive term to Democrat Annette Kesting. In 2008, he had switched parties and regained the seat.
“I’m a little surprised at the totals,” he said. “That’s the way it is with politics: you don’t always know.”
State Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Marietta), the commissioner’s brother, said before vote totals started coming that Woody Thompson would be “at peace no matter what happened.”
Others at Thompson’s event included Connie Taylor, one of the four candidates eliminated in the July 31 primary.
Cupid will be the only elected Democrat on the county commission come January, but her victory creates the first female majority on the board of commissioners. She joins Helen Goreham of northwest Cobb and JoAnn Birrell of northeast Cobb.
According to the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, only Baldwin County, where Milledgeville is located, currently has a majority of women on its five-member county commission.
Cupid campaigned for Thompson’s seat for nearly a year, promoting her community involvement and criticizing Thompson’s visibility to constituents.
Thompson, meanwhile, dealt with health problems last year and didn’t announce he was running for reelection until the last day of qualifying in May.
But after that, Thompson quickly erased Cupid’s financial advantage, raising $28,750 in the second quarter of the year and another $15,000 since the July 31 primary, while also touting some of the projects to be approved for south Cobb during his time in office, including upgrades at Floyd Road in Mableton and Six Flags Drive in Austell.
Cupid was surprised Tuesday when a campaign worker told her she had raised more than $49,000 in the campaign.
“I don’t have all the answers,” she said. “All I know is we need improvements in this area, and I feel like I could do a better job. I am humbled by the experience, and I look forward to serving and working with the people who want a better future here.”