It’s official: Atlanta school board race results in a runoff

Alfred "Shivy" Brooks (left) and Tamara Jones (right) are headed to a runoff for the At-Large Seat 7 post on the Atlanta school board. (AJC file photos)

Credit: AJC File Photo

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Alfred "Shivy" Brooks (left) and Tamara Jones (right) are headed to a runoff for the At-Large Seat 7 post on the Atlanta school board. (AJC file photos)

Credit: AJC File Photo

Credit: AJC File Photo

Atlanta voters will return to the polls Dec. 5 to cast their ballots in a runoff election for one Atlanta school board seat. In the At-Large Seat 7 contest on Nov. 7, no candidate earned more than 50% of the vote. The top two vote-getters, incumbent Tamara Jones and challenger Alfred “Shivy” Brooks, will face off again less than a month after the general election. A third candidate, William “Will” Sardin, finished far behind Jones and Brooks.

In interviews the day after the general election, Brooks and Jones talked about their platforms instead of their opponents.

Brooks, who teaches government at Charles Drew High School in Clayton County, said he believes the pandemic changed the teaching profession.

“If you taught four years ago, five years ago, what you understand about our schools and our children and their needs ... does not line up with where we are today,” Brooks said in an interview last week.

Jones has a background in architecture and urban design. She said in an interview last week that she’s focused on the daily work of the board, which includes developing a districtwide literacy policy and assisting in the process of hiring Atlanta Public Schools’ next superintendent.

Fulton County elections officials conducted a recount of all votes cast in municipal elections. That resulted in three more votes for Jones and one less vote for Brooks, but didn’t significantly change the outcome. The At-Large Seat 7 race pulls in voters from Fulton and DeKalb counties.

In the Atlanta school board races, odd-numbered seats were up for election this year. District 1 incumbent Katie Howard ran unopposed. In District 3, challenger and former Fulton interim Superintendent Ken Zeff defeated incumbent Michelle Olympiadis. District 5 incumbent Erika Mitchell successfully defended her seat from challenger Raynard Johnson. So did At-Large Seat 9 incumbent Jessica Johnson. She was facing opponent Nkoyo Effiong Lewis.

The At-Large Seat 7 race is the only one that resulted in a runoff. Early voting starts Saturday, Nov. 25, and ends on Friday, Dec. 1.

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