Meet The Candidates In Smyrna Election

Smyrna voters will get the opportunity to meet the candidates for Mayor and city council positions at a forum sponsored by the Smyrna Business Association on Oct. 24.

“This is an excellent chance for residents to meet and interact with their potential elected leaders,” said SBA President Barb Allen.

An informal meet-and-greet will begin at 7 p.m. at the Smyrna Community Center, followed by a question and answer session with the candidates moderated by Cathy and Allan Lipsett, publishers of The Bright Side newspaper. Attendees will be asked to submit written questions prior to the forum.

More details of the event can be found at

With the decision of Max Bacon not to seek reelection, an open Mayor’s post has drawn five candidates. The candidates for Mayor include:

Alex Backery, a retired airline worker who has lived in Smyrna since 1981; Ryan Campbell, son to Jamaican immigrants who operate Chris’ Caribbean Bistro; Laura M. Mireles, a former law enforcement officer and Air Force Veteran; Derek Norton, Ward 1 Councilman and Government Affairs Director for the Medical Association of Georgia; and Steve Rasin, a retired Navy Commander, Airline Pilot and owner of a real estate business.

In city council races Glenn Pickins, a project manager, is unopposed for the open Ward 1 seat; Charles ‘Corkey’ Welch, and engineer, is unopposed for reelection to the Ward 4 post, and Tim Gould is unopposed for the Ward 6 seat.

Ward 2 has incumbent Andrea Bluestein, a real estate associate broker, facing Austin Wagner, a consultant.

In Ward 3, incumbent Maryline Blackburn, an entertainer, is challenged by Travis Lindley, a business owner.

There are three candidates in Ward 5 as incumbent Susan Wilkinson, an independent designer, is challenged by Suz Kaprich, a nurse executive, and James ‘JD’ Smith, a former fire department lieutenant and owner of Neighbors Feed and Seed.

Ward 7 is an open post with David W. Monroe, a former hotel management exec and real estate broker, facing Lewis A. Wheaton, a professor at Georgia Tech.

Whitefield Academy will host a debate On Tuesday, October 22 at 7 p.m. among all five Smyrna mayoral candidates. The debate will be co-moderated by Whitefield students and Whitefield faculty member, Dr. Jeff Horner.

The Whitefield debate is a ticketed event. Tickets are now available and can be reserved at no cost by visiting Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the debate will begin at 7 p.m.

Whitefield Academy’s Head of School, Kevin Bracher, notes that “not only is the election of a new mayor a momentous event in Smyrna history, but hosting the debate is also an incredible opportunity for our students to practice servant leadership in the civic arena. Whitefield cares deeply about Smyrna and our community, and we are excited to contribute to having a community of informed voters.”

Smyrna’s election will be held Nov. 5.

From the October 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.