Special election for Stockbridge mayor to be held in November

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Five candidates will vie for the chance to fill the mayor’s seat in Stockbridge for about 14 months.

Qualifying took place last week for the special election that will take place in November to fill the unexpired term of Tim Thompson, who resigned in the middle of a City Council meeting last December.

At that time there was considerable speculation as to how the seat would be filled and some thought the council might appoint an interim mayor at a called meeting in late December. That idea was rejected by many citizens as well as some council members, as three newly elected members came on board at the beginning of 2016.

The Georgia General Assembly passed local legislation earlier this year to allow a special mayoral election for the first time in the city’s history. The five names to be placed on the ballot in November are mostly familiar to those who have followed Stockbridge politics in recent years. Two are former City Council members.

The least known on the list is likely Partha Chakraborty, who is employed at Delta Air Lines and went to Dutchtown High School before studying political science at Seton Hall University, according to the candidate’s personal Facebook page.

Regina Lewis-Ward was appointed to the City Council in 2014 after Richard Sternberg resigned. She lost her bid for re-election in 2015. She has a long list of community and professional achievements on her campaign web site.

Judy B. Neal is a long-time Stockbridge resident and former state official who served for seven years as executive director of the Governor’s Children and Youth Coordinating Council.

Houston Nelson is a local businessman who ran in 2013 for mayor and recently served as chairman of the city’s Down-town Development Authority. He currently is an officer with the Henry County chapter of the NAACP as well as the Henry County Democratic Party.

Alphonso Thomas won a seat on the City Council in 2011 and was mayor pro tem when he lost his re-election bid in 2015.