Five to vie for Smyrna City Council seat vacated by Doug Stoner

Smyrna City Hall in article about Smyrna millage rate

It’ll be a crowded race for the Smyrna City Council Ward 6 seat.

Councilman and former Democratic state senator Doug Stoner resigned in February to announce a run for Georgia’s Public Service Commission, leaving a vacancy on the city council.

In his place will be one of five candidates who officially entered the race earlier this week.

Those candidates are:

● Former mayoral candidate and retiree Alex Backry

● Information technology specialist Shaun Black

● Business owner Tim Gould

● Human resources director Brant Suddath

● Retiree Idella Moore

The race is officially nonpartisan. Of the five, only Suddath ( and Black ( listed websites for their campaign.

“Shaun has called Smyrna home for almost 15 years, having had the chance to watch it grow and now the privilege of raising children in the community he cherishes,” reads a statement on Black’s website. “A graduate of Georgia Tech and former flight test engineer at Lockheed Martin, Shaun is now a partner at a small data services firm headquartered in Smyrna.”

Black lives in the Vinings Glen neighborhood off of Ridge Road and has served on its homeowners association (HOA) board.

“My family and I call Smyrna our home and we are excited about the future of this great community,” reads the home page of “As a councilman, my priorities would be to continue to maintain Smyrna’s high standards for smart growth and redevelopment, while addressing long-term planning on our quality of life, transportation infrastructure and other issues.”

Backry can be found at nearly every Smyrna city council meeting, frequently speaking during public comment at the end of the proceedings. He has called for term limits for city council members and the mayor in the past, and opposes high density. In previous elections, he has run for mayor against Max Bacon.

The Courier is working to contact the other candidates for statements on why they’ve decided to run.

Qualifying opened at Smyrna city hall Monday morning at 8:30 a.m., and closed at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The election will be held Tuesday, May 22, in conjunction with statewide general primary election, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote recipients will participate in a runoff election to be held July 24.

Early voting will be held from April 30 through May 18, with hours and locations available on Only voters living in Ward 6 are eligible to vote in the race.

This will be the second special election held in Smyrna in only a few months, as former council member Teri Anulewicz resigned last fall to make a successful run for the Georgia House of Representatives. Nonprofit executive Maryline Blackburn won the race to replace Anulewicz in Ward 3