Republican incumbent Scott Sweeney appears headed to re-election with a win over telecommunications director Kevin Nicholas in east Cobb’s Post 6.
Sweeney took 3,347 votes, or 52 percent, to Nicholas’ 3,132 votes, or 48 percent.
“We’ll accept that result and we will continue to work hard for our schools and community,” said Nicholas, who kept track of returns at Rose and Crown Tavern on Powers Ferry Road.
Calls and emails sent to Sweeney had not been returned at press time.
Elsewhere, Lockheed Martin analyst David Chastain bested former Marietta Sixth Grade Academy Principal Bill Scott to take Post 4, representing northeast Cobb. Neither Post 6 nor Post 4 had a Democrat in the race.
“I focused on the conservative values most in Cobb share, at least among Republicans,” said Chastain, who took in election results at Paradise Grill on Sandy Plains Road. “I focused on those Republicans that were most likely to get out and vote. I’d say that I talked about parents and students and teachers and trying to keep from raising taxes. That’s what resonates with people.”
Chastain took 3,910 votes, or 66 percent, to Scott’s 1,990 votes. Chastain will replace Kathleen Angelucci, who is not seeking reelection.
Post 2, encompassing the Smyrna/Vinings area, appears headed to a July 22 runoff between incumbent Tim Stultz, an engineer, and former Pebblebrook High School Principal Susan Thayer. Wells Fargo Lending officer Jeff Abel didn’t make it with just 21 percent of the vote. Thayer took 1,876 votes, or 45 percent, Stultz had 1,403 votes, or 34 percent, and Abel had 878 votes. A runoff is needed because neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote.
“I’ve been very pleased with the race so far, it’s been respectful and courteous,” Thayer said from her home in Smyrna. “Jeff Abel ran a very good race. I respect him and his wife, they seem to be outstanding parents.”
Thayer said she’s not made plans for runoff campaigning just yet.
The winner between Stultz and Thayer will face Democrat Kenya Pierre, an attorney, during the general election Nov. 4.
Post 2 has 48,256 registered voters, of which 4,804 or 10 percent actually cast ballots. Post 4 had 7,045 voters, or 14 percent out of a possible 50,637 that are registered. Post 6, with 54,878 registered voters, had 7,448 or 14 percent cast ballots.
Stultz is finishing his first term on the school board. The Georgia Tech graduate differed from his opponents on a number of issues. He was the only one to oppose Common Core, a controversial set of education standards, and opposed the possible relocation of East Cobb Middle School to a site near Terrell Mill Road.
Stultz received a total of $2,023 in contributions. His biggest expense was $570, the fee required to qualify for the race.
Abel raised $658, of which $570 went to qualifying.
By contrast, Thayer had a more well-funded campaign. She received a $2,500 contribution from the Cobb County Association of Educators on April 24, and loaned herself $20,000 on March 13.
Stultz, who kept track of voting results from home, attributed his success to his conservative values.
“I think I’ve been very consistent with my principles and my voting since I’ve been on the board, and that’s helped tremendously,” he said. “I think it shows a conservative perspective to being a public servant that really is a carryover from what I have already been doing the last four years.”
Chastain and Scott were cordial on the campaign trail, each saying the biggest difference between the two is that Scott has an education background and Chastain has a business background. But in the end, Chastain came out on top.
A bizarre episode in Scott’s campaign was his endorsement from University of Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason. Scott’s website, BillScott2014.com, for weeks featured a video of the athlete, a Lassiter High School product who grew up in Cobb.
“I’ve known Mr. Scott since I was in elementary school as he was my principal,” Mason says in the grainy video. “It’s not often that students get to know their principal personally, but he took a special interest in all his students as he knew us by our name. I gladly endorse him to be a member of the Cobb County school board because I know that he wants the best for all students.”
The 31-second video ran on a continuous loop on the site. Mason was seen wearing a Georgia t-shirt.
“I hope that you will join me in voting for Bill Scott on May 20 because he is so much needed in Cobb County,” Mason said. “So many of his former students are motivated to do their best as we saw the best in him every day. Thank you.”
A message from Scott below the video read “thank you Hutson Mason for your endorsement. I am proud to have been your principal.”
The MDJ called UGA Tuesday to ask if the endorsement violated NCAA rules, and was assured by Senior Associate Athletic Director Jim Booz it did not. However, within hours the video was gone.
Calls to Scott seeking comment had not been returned at press time.
Scott raised $4,555 in total for his campaign. He loaned himself $2,000 and also contributed $150 to his campaign. His biggest expenditure was $1,696 for campaign signs.
Chastain has raised $4,338 for his campaign, $4,292 of which was unspent as of March 31, the latest filing deadline. Chastain made several contributions to himself totaling more than $2,000. He also received $2,000 from Marietta resident Raymond Yearty, president of Yearty Consulting.
The contentious battle for Post 6 ended with Sweeney outlasting Nicholas.
In April, The Marietta Daily Journal reported Sweeney had been hired as a consultant by Promethean Ltd. a company that markets digital white boards to school systems as teaching tools.
Sweeney had been spotted in New Orleans at a national school board convention and later said he went on behalf of Promethean rather than the Cobb school board. The race grew hostile over the closing weeks. In the end, voters stuck with the incumbent.
Nicholas raised $7,200 for his campaign, $6,410 of which was unspent as of March 31. He loaned $5,000 to himself on March 7, and had a $790 in-kind donation from web designer Stephan Laenen for the design of his website, Kevin4Kids.com.
Sweeney raised $3,070 for his campaign. He loaned himself $570 to cover qualification fees and later received $2,500 from the Cobb County Association of Educators.