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Familiar faces, runoffs mark election
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
August 07, 2012 05:15 PM | 1369 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This summer’s General Primary and Nonpartisan Election is officially in the books, with familiar faces on the county level — save a couple runoffs — by and large holding onto power. Marshall Orson earned the distinction of being the only candidate to unseat an incumbent outright during the DeKalb leg of the July 31 contests.

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.
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