Smith wins nod from Democrats
by Lindsay Field
August 22, 2012 01:46 AM | 2403 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Democrats in House District 41, in south-central Cobb, selected Michael Smith to take on Republican candidate Phil Daniell on Nov. 6.

Smith won 577 votes (61%), over fellow Democrat Diana L. Eckles, who took 364 votes (39%) in the primary runoff effort to succeed retiring Democrat Terry Johnson. Only about four percent of the district’s 22,335 registered voters cast a ballot.

Smith, who spent Tuesday standing outside the polls and holding up signs, was also the leading vote-getter in the three-person July 31 primary.

“The reason why we did so well was because I grew up in this community and the community is my family and my family came out to support us today,” Smith said Tuesday night.

He also thanked Eckles and primary opponent Justin O’Dell for running a “fantastic campaign.”

“We’re going to have to decide how we’ll win this upcoming election so we can help (President) Barack Obama,” he said.

The 28-year-old Smith, who teaches science at an east Cobb middle school, said he has raised about $8,200 since qualifying in May.

His opponent, the 47-year-old mother of two from Marietta, said she called Smith to congratulate him shortly after the final results were posted.

“I want to wish the best of luck to the voters in the district,” she said. “I met some wonderful people, and it’s been an amazing experience.”

She spent said Tuesday waving signs and speaking to residents.

Eckles, a first-time candidate who has lived in Cobb for almost 16 years, is a cosmetics sales representative and website maintenance specialist. She declined to say whether she’ll run for office in the future. She raised about $10,000 overall for her campaign.

Smith will face Republican Phil Daniell, 69, in November. Daniell is a retired building inspector who grew up in Cobb.
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