It’s time to vote for some residents of five Cobb County cities and for residents of state Senate District 6, which extends into southern Cobb County.
Polling places will be open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There has been some consternation on social media over the fact that Cobb polls will close at 7 p.m. in the District 6 race, while the Fulton County portion of the district will stay open until 8 p.m.
Cobb County elections director Jeanine Eveler said Georgia law requires polling locations to keep those hours except in cities with populations of 300,000 or more. Atlanta is the only municipality in Georgia to meet that threshold, so some polls in Fulton County will keep the later hours.
“It’s not legal for us to keep them open,” Eveler said. “The law says to close at 7 p.m. unless for Atlanta city election, which is not in Cobb.”
To check your registration and polling location, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do, and don’t forget to bring identification when headed to the polls.
Here is a rundown of who will be on the ballots in Cobb’s cities.
Incumbent Councilman Ollie Clemons hopes to defend his at-large Post 1 seat from challenger Melanie Maria Elder. In Ward 1, Councilwoman Kirsten Anderson is not seeking re-election, and two names will be on the ballot to replace her: Ikaika Anderson and Marlin Lamar. In Ward 3, incumbent Councilman Randy Green will square off against housewife Trudie Causey.
Over in Kennesaw, Councilman Nimesh Patel is not looking for another term in his Post 3 seat, and three men are vying to replace him. Small business owner Antonio “Tony” Jones, former councilman Pat Ferris and brewer Jeffrey Oparnica all have eyes on the spot.
There’s a unique race going on for the Post 4 seat: Kennesaw Councilman Jim Sebastian of Post 5 vacated his seat to run against incumbent Councilman Jimmy Dickens. Sebastian said he is doing it to point out flaws in Kennesaw’s electoral system. A third man, research engineer Chris Henderson, is also in the mix.
Materials management professional David Blinkhorn and small business owner Bobby Copeland, a write-in candidate, are lined up to try to take Sebastian’s former seat.
Ward 1’s Councilman Stuart Fleming is not seeking re-election, and three candidates are hoping to move into his council seat. Public affairs worker Greg Bieger, retiree Jay Davis and attorney Cheryl Richardson are all hoping to take the reins from Fleming.
Ward 5 Councilman Ruben Sands will try to fend off two would-be usurpers, counselor Reggie Copeland and manager Ben Lyman.
Marietta’s longest-serving council member Philip Goldstein is riding off into the sunset, but the Goldstein name will continue to appear on city letterhead due to his son, Joseph Goldstein, who is running unopposed for Ward 7.
Incumbent council members Grif Chalfant, Johnny Walker, Andy Morris and Michelle Cooper Kelly also had no competition, nor did Mayor Steve Tumlin. Still, their time is numbered. The council that is sworn in during January will be the first one in Marietta history subject to term limits. None of them will be able to serve longer than three four-year terms, starting in 2018.
Over at the Marietta School board, there are three active races.
In Ward 2, incumbent Jason Waters will try to defend his seat from educator Arthur Vaughn. In Ward 4, incumbent Allison Gruehn will face educator Camile Jones, and Ward 5, incumbent Jeriene Bonner-Grimes is up against nonprofit administrator Angela Orange.
Business owner Henry Lust appears to be on the easy path to victory in Ward 1 after his only opponent’s qualifying fee check bounced, resulting in her name being removed from the ballot.
Ward 3 voters will have two Nancies to choose from: incumbent Nancy Hudson faces challenger Nancy Farmer. Both are retired.
When Councilwoman Teri Anulewicz announced she would step down to run for the District 42 state House seat vacated by Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, in Evans’ bid for governor, five people stepped up to take Anulewicz’ place.
The candidates are recording artist Maryline Blackburn; Jeff Carter, who works in commercial real estate; business owner Travis Lindley; Marshall Moon, who works in security; and attorney Adam Taylor.
Anulewicz is the only candidate for District 42, but eight candidates are on the ballot to replace District 6 state Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Smyrna, who also stepped down to seek the governor’s office.
Republican candidates in the running for District 6 are Buckhead business executive Kathy Eichenblatt, attorneys Leah Aldredge of Atlanta and Matt Bentley of Smyrna, Atlanta businessman Charlie Fiveash and Leo Smith, the former state director of minority engagement for the Republican Party of Georgia.
On the Democratic side are Vinings dentist Jaha Howard, who was narrowly defeated by Hill in last year’s election, Buckhead attorney Jen Jordan and Taos Wynn, a Democrat from Atlanta who runs a nonprofit.