The political newcomer trounced current seat holder Don McChesney, earning 62 percent of the vote, in their DeKalb Board of Education District 2 race.
“We were optimistic about our message getting through about the change we needed to make on the board,” Orson said.
Orson pledged to be active during the long transition period — he will not take office until January — by engaging a “wide variety” of constituents to better prepare himself for his impending duties.
Elsewhere on the DeKalb political scene, Chief Executive Burrell Ellis outdistanced challengers Gregory Adams and Jerome Edmondson in a landslide en route to earning another term in office.
Interested parties are turning their attention to an Aug. 21 runoff for a pair of Board of Education seats.
District 4 incumbent H. Paul Womack will attempt to stave off challenger Jim McMahan. Womack’s 6,705 votes accounted for 47 percent of the vote — short of the 50 percent, plus one vote required to win — while McMahan outpaced fellow candidates Tom Gilbert and Jim Kinney with 4,019 votes.
The District 6 school board race, which featured no incumbent, will also be decided via runoff. Melvin Johnson and Denise McGill were the top vote-getters out of a field of four. Johnson received 4,973 votes, good for 39 percent, while McGill took in 3,807, or 30 percent.
In another tightly contested school board race, District 8 incumbent Pamela Speaks managed to avoid an upset by newcomer Michelle Jenkins-Clark. Speaks earned 52 percent, outpacing her opponent by less than 1,500 votes in a contest that saw nearly 45,000 ballots cast.
Meanwhile, the make-up of the DeKalb Board of Commissioners will not change based on this election cycle. Incumbents Elaine Boyer, Sharon Barnes-Sutton, Lee May and Kathie Gannon all recorded victories to retain their seats.