New mayors in Dunwoody and Brookhaven now have about a six-week honeymoon period before taking the oath of office.
In Dunwoody, voters unhorsed Mayor Mike Davis. While the result was not a complete surprise, the size of the margin was. Denny Shortal, an original city councilor and mayor pro-tem, won with 63 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Davis.
Shortal won all 13 of the city’s precincts and won every demographic group, according to a pre-election poll done for The Crier. Turnout in the city was 24 percent.
The campaign was about personality more than issues, with neither candidate choosing to go negative. In the last 10 days of the campaign, social media lit up, questioning the candidates’ positions on and effort for a re-build of Austin Elementary. Both candidates vote at Austin and Davis had his best performance there, though still falling short.
Voters seemed to prefer Shortal’s down-home approach to Davis’s record of attracting and retaining businesses. During the campaign The Crier received more than 20 letters criticizing Davis for specific votes and positions. Ironically, Shortal shared each of those positions.
Voters angry about the re-design of Dunwoody Village Parkway, a wider concrete trail in Brook Run Park and even proposals for a roundabout took out their displeasure with Davis.
Though some analysts looked for a sign of anti-incumbent fever in the election, it didn’t seem to be a factor anywhere on the ballot.
Councilman Terry Nall won just short of 70 percent of the vote in his race against Becky Springer. Two other members of council were unopposed, as was Shortal’s replacement, Pam Tallmadge.
In Brookhaven, two elections on the ballot were blowouts. John Ernst, backed by the AFL-CIO of Georgia and other labor and Democratic groups, won 87 percent of the vote over Dale Boone, a competitive eating champion. Ernst also was endorsed by DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester.
Appointed city councilor Linley Jones trounced Eve Erdogan, winning 79 percent of the vote in the north Brookhaven district. Jones was named to the post when Rebecca Chase Williams became the city’s mayor upon the resignation of J. Max Davis. Williams chose not to seek election.