Who Won? Who Lost? Patch Analyzes Brookhaven's First-Ever Elections
Patch was first to project a winner in the mayor's runoff on Tuesday night. Here's our analysis of what else happened in Brookhaven's election season.
The elections are over and the new city of Brookhaven has its first mayor and city council in place, waiting to be sworn in.
Here's our take on the winners and losers from Brookhaven's first political experience, with a few caveats along the way:
Mike Jacobs. Newly elected Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis was supported and endorsed by Jacobs, the Republican state representative who authored Brookhaven cityhood's bill. Jacobs also endorsed Rebecca Chase Williams and Joe Gebbia, both of whom scored big victories in Districts 1 and 4, respectively. Brookhaven became a city through Jacobs' legislative leadership and it elected leaders who he supported. Hard to argue with the man's influence.
Jim Eyre. He became Brookhaven's first elected official in history on Nov. 6. He has already gone on record as saying he can work with every city council member and Davis, even though he endorsed Davis' opponent in the runoff. Eyre opposed cityhood during the municipalization vote, and his candidate didn't win on Tuesday night. But Patch doesn't get the sense that Eyre's influence is going to wane, at least in District 2. Eyre's term ends next year, but as long as he continues his excellent record of staying in touch with his community, his political future is secure.
J. Max Davis. He was the chairman of BrookhavenYES, and one of the most vocal and visible leaders of the pro-cityhood movement. He came in first in the general election, and almost won the mayor's contest outright on Nov. 6. Then he faced a hard-campaigning Sandy Murray in Tuesday's runoff and won with a resounding 66 percent of the vote, carrying 11 of 12 Brookhaven precincts.
- But ... Now the real work begins, and he has to prove the Brookhaven will be better managed under a city leadership than it was under DeKalb County.
BrookhavenYES’ political influence. Bates Mattison won the District 3 contest with the support of Jeff Kellar, former vice chair of BrookhavenYES. Rebecca Chase Williams, another cityhood proponent, handily won the District 1 runoff. And while Mattison's margin of victory was the evening's smallest, his term isn't up until 2015, giving him plenty of time to build up a supportive constituency.
- But ... Another of BrookhavenYES' leading figures, Russell Mitchell, didn't fare so well in the electoral process, losing to cityhood opponent Jim Eyre on Nov. 6 in that evening's only decisive election.
Joe Gebbia. He earned the biggest margin of victory in any of the city's elections so far, trouncing Karen Lord by capturing 81 percent of the vote.
- But ... He's only in office for one year, as his term expires in 2013. If Kerry Witt wants to build on his respectable Nov. 6 showing, Gebbia could face another challenge before he even gets out of the electoral gate.
Sandy Murray and NO CITY’s political influence. Murray was endorsed by District 2 city councilman Jim Eyre almost immediately after the Nov. 6 election, and she campaigned heavily throughout those communities. A visible opponent of cityhood in the first place, Murray had to be counting on garnering sympathetic votes in District 2, whose communities were also heavily against municiplization. It didn't work. And we're pretty sure those "J. Max Davis is a tax cheat" claims she made over the runoff's final weekend didn't help much, either.
Start Brookhaven Right. Not sure whatever happened to an organization that was behind one of the most notable attacks we saw during the election. The weekend before Nov. 6, the organization sent out mailers claiming that Jim Eyre said "Brookhaven is a cancer," right here on Patch. Former BrookhavenYES member Shannon Cameron was listed as chairperson of the organization. Maybe it went into hiding ...
Karen Lord. See Joe Gebbia, above.