Joe Gebbia defeated challenger Dale Boone Nov. 7 to hold on to his seat as the District 4 representative on the Brookhaven City Council, according to unofficial election results from DeKalb County.
With all four precincts tallied, Gebbia garnered 339 votes, for 60.43 percent, to Boone’s 212 votes, for 37.79 percent. There were also 10 write in votes, for a total of 561 votes cast in the race. DeKalb reports there are some 5,000 registered voters in District 4, for slightly more than 11 percent of voters showing up to the polls.
District 4 includes Buford Highway and the city below I-85 where Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Executive Park are located.
The race pitted Gebbia, who owns his own nutritional food and products business, against Boone, a competitive food eater who makes a living gulping hot dogs and hamburgers.
“I worked hard and it was fun,” Gebbia said at his Election Night watch party at Petite Violette on Clairmont Road. “I reconnected with so many people. I was really touched and that fed me … oftentimes you don’t know what people think until you meet with them one-on-one.”
Gebbia also took a shot at Boone and his campaign.
“He spent too much time on what he wanted to be and not what he needs to do,” Gebbia said. “He was consumed by what he wanted to be, a councilman … and his information was so superfluous.”
Gebbia added, “I think the more people he talked to the more votes I got.”
Boone said late Tuesday night he had called and congratulated Gebbia on his victory and expressed disappointment with the dismal turnout.
“It’s sad that in District 4 only  voter … showed up,” he said. “To lose to an incumbent by 127 votes is nothing to be ashamed of. We pulled out all the stops.”
In a recent interview, Boone said he spoke to many people who may not have been for him but were against Gebbia.
“It’s kind of sad because there is going to be so much change on Buford Highway and people could have voted to slow it down,” he said.
During the next four years, Gebbia said he plans to continue his focus on the Peachtree Creek Greenway, which when completed will be the first significant park in District 4, and also on the coming redevelopment of Buford Highway.
“Buford Highway is getting so much attention now … it is Ground Zero for $2 to $3 billion in investments in the next four to 10 years,” he said.
He noted CHOA’s current construction of the Center for Advanced Pediatrics and its plans to build a new $1 billion hospital as part of the significant development taking place near Buford Highway.
“This will not only be immense for Brookhaven, but for the region,” Gebbia said.
Gebbia said he still wants to find a way to build a performing arts center on Buford Highway, which he estimates to be a $300 million to $400 million project.
More development will also come with the future development of Executive Park, he said. Last year Emory University purchased 60 acres of Executive Park but have not revealed to the public what it plans to do with the property. Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta Hawks teamed up to build a new 90,000 square foot sports medicine and practice facility in Executive Park that is set to be completed this month.
Gebbia said he also plans to ask to budget next year for a traffic analysis between Peachtree Road/North Druid Hills Road and Briarcliff Road as part of “grand plan” to have all the traffic data needed when and if the redevelopment of the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station happens.
“We need these traffic plans so we can be ready for what’s coming,” he said.
District 2 City Councilmember John Park was also up for re-election, but faced no challenger and is re-elected to another four-year term. District 2 includes Ashford Park. DeKalb’s unofficial results show Park received 738 votes. There were 39 write-in votes.