Incumbents leading in metro Atlanta school board races

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Republicans appeared to maintain their majority on the Cobb County Board of Education, after one particularly tense race culminated in an incumbent poised to hold on to his seat.

Republican David Chastain, who holds the Post 4 seat on the board and serves as its chairman, led Democrat Catherine Pozniak with all precincts reporting. Pozniak recently filed a complaint alleging that Chastain broke campaign finance laws, but those allegations won’t be investigated by the state until after the election. Republicans accused Pozniak and her supporters of incivility during the campaign.

In the Post 2 seat, Democrat Becky Sayler had a sizable lead over Republican Stephen George, Jr. Democrat Nichelle Davis ran unopposed, and will fill the Post 6 seat being vacated by Charisse Davis.

The three Democrats on the Cobb school board, who are Black, have accused the board’s four white Republicans of using their majority to “silence them.” In 2020, the school board was the only county body to not be won by Democrats in a “blue wave.”

This election in Cobb County has been closely watched: The elections office failed to send ballots to more than 1,000 voters. Some voters received the wrong ballots during early voting. And a voting rights group is currently suing over the new school board maps in effect during this election.

Incumbents led in contested races across metro Atlanta.

Republicans were headed to victory in two contested races in Cherokee County, and two unopposed seats. Republican incumbent John Harmon appeared to keep his District 3 seat over Democrat challenger Katie McRee, and Republican Erin Ragsdale appeared to win over Democrat Sean Jackson in District 5. Rick Steiner will represent District 4 and Susan Padgett Harrison will represent District 6.

In Clayton County, four Democrat incumbents ran unopposed and will keep their seats: Jasmine Bowles in District 1, Victoria Williams in District 4, Joy Tellis Cooper in District 8 and Benjamin Straker, Sr., in District 9.

Fayette County Democrat Regina Daigre led Republican William Leon Yarde in the District 4 race with all precincts reporting. In District 2, Republican incumbent Roy Rabold was unopposed.

And in Forsyth County, Republican Mike Valdes led Democrat Elaine Padgett for the District 5 seat with most precincts reporting by midnight. In District 1, Republican Wes McCall appeared to win after his opponent, Janna Kregoski, withdrew from the race.