Mayoral candidate Brent Morrison received 43 percent, Rick Freeman 35 percent, and Tony Williams was last with 256 votes.
“I have never in all the years that I’ve been involved in races, I’ve never seen a race like this in my life,” Morrison said Tuesday night.
Freeman said he wasn’t surprised at all.
“Brent and I both grew up here and all three candidates worked hard,” Freeman said.
Morrison, 60, a lawyer, entered the race with more political experience than his opponents, having spent 25 years as the Piedmont city administrator, and is finishing up his first term on the council this year.
Freeman, also 60, was elected to the council in 1996, but resigned his seat one year short of his four-year term, citing the death of his father and personal health issues.
City Council District 1 incumbent John Lawrence lost to retired National Guard member Ben Keller. Lawrence served on the council for 5 terms.
Keller had no previous political experience, but said he is ready to get to work.
“I feel great. I feel good,” Keller said. ”I plan on going in there and doing my job.”
District 2 incumbent Mary Bramblett, 70, ran unopposed and will serve her fifth term on the council.
In District 3, incumbent Ed Hanson will face former council member Frank Cobb in the runoff.
A newcomer to politics, Doug Dickeson garnered 15 percent of the votes with 27.
District 4 incumbent Kenny Kelley, 59, will go into a runoff against Crystal Brown.
In a rare stalemate, both candidates for District 5 split the votes evenly at 102 each. Incumbent Diane Studdard and Brenda Spears will head into a runoff Oct. 9.
Retired social worker and current activities director at Piedmont Health Care, Bill Baker, 62, ran unopposed and will serve his sixth term representing District 6.
Terry Kiser won the District 7 seat handily, entering the race with plenty of name recognition, having served as a Piedmont police officer for 27 years. Anniston attorney Jayme Amberson ran on a platform of reforming the municipality’s finances.
Star staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563 or on Twitter @burkhalter_star