Challenger Jim McMahan hauled in 65 percent of the vote en route to usurping H. Paul Womack’s District 4 seat in Tues-day’s runoff elections.
“I was pleasantly surprised at both the turnout and the vote,” McMahan said. “I did not expect such a large margin of victory — I think it’s an indication of the voters wanting a change.”
McMahan scored 2,920 votes to Womack’s 1,557 Tuesday night, a stark turnaround from the then- four-man July 31 general primary and nonpartisan election.
Womack was the leading vote-getting then, garnering 47 percent of the vote yet falling short of the required 50 percent plus one vote to win outright. Tom Gilbert and Jim Kinney, who rounded out the field, later publicly endorsed McMahan.
McMahan acknowledged the new school board, charged with guiding a school system mired in a budget crunch, has its work cut out for it when it convenes in January.
“We need community support for our schools … that’s what we have in the Fourth District,” said McMahan. “Everybody’s fired up.”
Elsewhere, Melvin Johnson eas-ily topped fellow political new-comer Denise McGill in their Dis-trict 6 runoff.
Johnson, a retired school admin-istrator, walked away with 66 percent of the vote Tuesday night.
Johnson and McMahan are now set to join Marshall Orson as the new faces on the DeKalb School Board.
Orson defeated incumbent Don McChesney by a wide margin in their District 2 race July 31. In the board’s other election, Pamela Speaks held on to her District 8 seat by edging out newcomer Michelle Jenkins-Clark.