Runoff to be held for Commission chair
By Monroe Roark
While most everyone had their attention on the race for president of the United States, history was made last week in Henry County’s elections.
For the first time ever, a black woman sits on the Board of Commissioners. Another black woman will sit in the chairman’s seat beginning in January, although that race won’t be decided until next month.
Dee Clemmons, the Democratic candidate, won the District 2 commission race by five points over Republican candidate Jeff Robinson. The District 2 seat has been vacant since Brian Preston resigned several months ago.
The other five members of the board declined to appoint an interim commissioner, but they appointed Clemmons during a special called meeting Monday, after which she took the oath of office. Her first regular meeting as a commissioner was scheduled for Tuesday night, after this edition went to press.
The chairman’s race is incredibly tight and still up in the air. With more than 94,000 ballots cast, Republican candidate June Wood held a 137-vote lead over Democrat candidate Carlotta Harrell as of Wednesday morning.
Thanks in large part to more than 1,200 write-in votes, most of them likely for official write-in candidate Don Henderson, neither Wood nor Harrell had the majority of votes (50 percent plus one) needed to win the race. That means a runoff, with the official voting date already set at Dec. 6.
There is one other race going to a runoff, and that is the special election for mayor of Stockbridge. Regina Lewis-Ward and Judy Neal emerged from the four-candidate fields as the top vote-getters and will square off over the next few weeks for the right to serve the final year of former mayor Tim Thompson’s unexpired term.
There is no word yet from the elections office as to whether early voting will be available for a runoff.
For complete results from Henry County’s elections, visit https://hcwebb.boca.co.henry.ga.us/elections/.