Two Clayton County school board members held onto to their seats Tuesday but two others now face a December runoff.
District 2 incumbent Wanda Smith and District 7 incumbent Trinia Garrett, who were in races with four and three candidates, respectively, now face the Dec. 4 runoff to determine who will sit on the nine-member board. Both women failed to get more than 50 percent of the votes. Smith, a Marta bus operator, faces minister Mark Christmas while Garrett, a community advocate, goes head-to-head with church secretary Judy Johnson.
Community discontent with the board’s behavior and management and renewed scrutiny from the state’s top accrediting board were big issues heading into Tuesday’s election. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recently sent the board a warning about its conduct, possibly jeopardizing its accreditation, which it just regained last year.
Smith got 36.44 percent of the 10,457 votes cast in the District 2 race, according to unofficial returns. Christmas got 28.13 percent. Garrett got 46.71 percent of the 6,500 votes in the District 7 race; Johnson got 38.48 percent. In District 5, incumbent Ophelia Burroughs beat challenger Xavier Ross. District 6 incumbent Mary Baker squeaked by challenger Janice Scott. District 3 incumbent Jessie Goree ran unopposed.
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