- Mitchell Northam The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Voters in Roswell will have to head to the polls again before the end of the year to pick a new mayor.
After Tuesday’s election, neither of the four candidates for mayor claimed the majority of the vote, so the two top vote-getters are heading for a runoff.
The race has now been narrowed down to councilmember Lori Henry and pastor Lee Jenkins. One of them will succeed Jere Wood, who has been the city’s mayor since 1997. The runoff is set for Dec. 5.
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Henry claimed the most votes Tuesday evening, garnering 5,144 ballots for 38 percent of the total vote. Jenkins came in second with 4,034 votes, good enough for 30 percent.
In total, 13,591 people voted in the Roswell mayoral election.
Not qualifying for the runoff were councilman Donald J. Horton and Roswell resident Michael Litten. Horton finished with 27 percent of the vote, while Litten — whose lawsuit against Wood led a judge to rule the current mayor had violated term limits — grabbed just five percent of the vote.
After Wood announced he would not run for re-election, Henry, Horton and Jenkins jumped in the race, joining Litten and Sandra Sidhom — who dropped out a week before the election after she was disqualified by Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard.
Henry served on the city council from 2001 to 2009, and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2009, and for the Fulton County Commission in 2010. She was re-elected to the council in April of this year, filling the seat left open after the resignation of Kent Ingleheart. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and owns a small business.
“It was an exciting night and my heartfelt thanks to Roswell’s voters, my family, supporters, and volunteers for getting out the vote for me in such a strong way,” Henry posted on her Facebook page. “I am grateful to be able to continue meeting all of you and talking about the issues that are important to you and your families.”
Jenkins was the last qualify for the race out of the candidates. He is an Atlanta native and the pastor and founder of his church, Eagles Nest on Mansell Court. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee where he played football. He was later drafted by the New York Giants.
“I’m proud of the work that my campaign has done,” Jenkins posted on his Facebook page. “I’m also grateful to all of my incredible supporters. I look forward to the run-off and continuing to run a positive campaign.”
Two of Roswell’s city council races will move to a runoff too. For the Post 6 seat, candidates Karen Parrish and Matt Judy will advance over Gus Hadorn. For the special election to fill Horton’s Post 3 seat, Mike Nyden and Sean Groer advance to the runoff out of a pack of six candidates.
In Roswell’s other council races, Marie Willsey won the Post 4 seat outright, claiming 57 percent of the vote, topping Meg McClanahan and Andrew Leonardi. Matthew Tyser defeated challenger Keith Goeke for the Post 5 seat, claiming 55 percent of the vote.