By Rebecca Gaunt
The third time’s the charm for Antonio Jones, who won the post 4 seat on the Kennesaw City Council Tuesday, alongside fellow newcomer Trey Sinclair, who won for post 5.
The post 3 seat was also on the ballot, but incumbent Pat Ferris was unopposed.
Jones beat the post 4 incumbent with 1,399 votes (55.36%) to Chris Henderson’s 1,128 votes (44.64%).He previously ran against council members James “Doc” Eaton in 2019 and Pat Ferris in 2017.
“I felt good going into it, but I was still shocked because I was going against an incumbent. That’s an uphill battle all in itself,” Jones told the Courier.
Making sure city infrastructure is updated to meet Kennesaw’s rapid growth is one of Jones’ top concerns.
“A lot of the infrastructure is very old…if we keep building and keep building and keep building, you are going to have crumbling of the infrastructure. I don’t really believe it was built for that. It was built more for single-family homes,” he said.
Jones is extremely supportive of the ongoing efforts to create a walkable downtown, which has brought several mixed-use developments and an entertainment district to the area around downtown Main Street.
“We are making great progress. We have SchoolHouse Village coming up, and other developments as well,” he said.
Jones and his fiancée Chantel Benjamin recently announced the start of their online eyeglasses company, Imperial Eyewear. They are donating 100 free pairs of glasses to children in Kennesaw as part of the launch.
David Blinkhorn resigned post 5 to run in the June special election for House District 34. Nimesh Patel was appointed to finish his term, but did not run for reelection.
Sinclair won post 5 with 1,255 (52.82%) votes to Jon Fred Bothers’ 1,121 votes (47.18%).
Bothers posted a thank you to his supporters on Facebook, writing, “Even though we didn’t win I’m not discouraged [or] disappointed but inspired by all the kindness my family and I have received.”
Sinclair is the founder of Dry County Brewing and a 2010 graduate of the University of Georgia. He is part of a redevelopment plan to open a taproom in the central business district as part of the Common Grounds Plaza Project that was approved by the Council in March.
Voter turnout in Cobb County for the off-year election was low at 9.46%. Of the 530,097 registered voters in the county, only 50,157 went to the polls. In some parts of the county, ESPLOST VI was the only item on the ballot, which passed overwhelmingly with 72.09% of the vote.
Besides Kennesaw, there were municipal elections in Marietta, Powder Springs, Austell, and Acworth.
Previous coverage of the 2021 Kennesaw election can be found here.
The Courier also reached out to Sinclair but he has not yet responded.
To find out if your child qualifies for free glasses from Imperial Eyewear, email WECARE@imperialeyewearus.com.
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.