In the midst of what appeared to be a full-fledged re-election campaign, Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon has announced he will not seek another term in office.
Bacon, 70, made the announcement at the end of his annual state of the city address, and later posted about it on Facebook.
“It’s time for me to go,” he wrote in the Facebook post. “I can no longer give the 110% that I have given the last 40 years. I will miss serving all the citizens of Smyrna…but will be ok..Smyrna will always be the best place to live…I love everyone and will always.”
Calls made to Bacon’s cell phone for further comment were not immediately returned.
Serving on the Smyrna city council since 1979 and as mayor since 1985, Bacon conducted an interview with the Cobb County Courier just one week ago about his re-election campaign.
“The citizens of Smyrna have been very, very good to me and my family. I think, in return, that I’ve done the best job I can do as mayor and as a city council member, and I’ll continue to do that,” he said at the time.
Instead, his bombshell announcement caught attendees at the state of the city address off guard. Local resident Mike Terry said there was an audible gasp in the room, and that Bacon finished his statement through tears.
Bacon’s announcement significantly shifts the mayor’s race. Three candidates, Alex Backry, Laura Mireles and Steve Rasin, previously announced their intention to run. However, none of the three currently hold elected office.
With Bacon no longer in the fold, Ward 1 councilman Derek Norton, who nearly two years ago had already raised funds for a mayoral campaign contingent on Bacon’s retirement, will now enter the race as well. A call to Norton was not immediately returned.
Perhaps Bacon’s biggest achievement in office was the transformation of downtown Smyrna, which arguably has led to the city’s revitalization over the last two decades.
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