Election 2020: A look at key metro Atlanta races

People vote at the Wolf Creek Library in South Fulton on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER /SPECIAL TO THE AJC
People vote at the Wolf Creek Library in South Fulton on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER /SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Here is a look at some of the key contested races in metro Atlanta.

Residents should contact their local elections office if they have any questions about the complete ballot, or when, how and where to vote.

Visit ajc.com for the AJC’s comprehensive election coverage and results on election night.

ExploreAJC Voter Guide for the Georgia Election

CITY OF ATLANTA

Elections office

Fulton County Government Center

141 Pryor St. SW #4075

Atlanta, Ga. 30303

404-612-7020

https://www.fultoncountyga.gov/services/voting-and-elections

In Atlanta, voters will decide a referendum that would create a new City of Atlanta homestead exemption that reduces by $30,000 the assessed value of homes located on land owned by a non-profit, known as a community land trust. The trusts have long-term (99+ year) leases with homeowners that require the homes to be sold at affordable prices. As with all other homestead exemptions, homeowners are required to apply for it.

Cherokee County

Elections & Voter Registration Office

2782 Marietta Highway, Suite 100

Canton, GA 30114

(770) 479-0407

http://voter.cherokeega.com/

Only one local issue: "Shall the Act be approved which provides a homestead exemption from City of Holly Springs ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes in the amount of up to $409,900.00 of the appraised value of the homestead for residents of that city who are 62 years of age or older?”

CLAYTON COUNTY

Elections office

Jonesboro Historical Courthouse, Main floor

121 South McDonough Street

Jonesboro, GA 30236

(770) 477-3372

https://www.claytoncountyga.gov

In heavily Democratic Clayton County, controversial Sheriff Victor Hill will face write in candidate Dwayne Fabian, a retired Georgia State Trooper. Hill is popular in Clayton County but has been criticized for his management of the sheriff’s office. Fabian says he would be a more transparent sheriff.

Sheriff: Victor Hill (I), Democrat; Dwayne Fabian, Write-In

Sunday alcohol sales: “Shall the Clayton County Board of Commissioners be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.”

COBB COUNTY

Cobb County Elections and Voter Registration Office

736 Whitlock Avenue NW, Suite 400

Marietta, GA 30064

(770) 528-2581

https://www.cobbcounty.org/elections

Four-term Republican Sheriff Neil Warren is facing a challenge from Democrat Craig Owens, a major in the Cobb County Police Department. In the race for commission chairman, incumbent Republican Mike Boyce is seeking a second term against Democrat and District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid.

Three Republican Cobb County School Board members also face Democratic opposition.

Incumbent Randy Scamihorn is being challenged to a third term by Democrat Vickie H.W. Benson. Brad Wheeler faces Democrat challenger Lindsey Terrebonne. Republican David Banks is vying for a fourth term against Julia Hurtado.

District Attorney: Republican Joyette Holmes (i) vs. Democrat Flynn Broady

Clerk of Superior Court: Republican Rebecca Keaton (i) vs. Democrat Connie Taylor

District 2 Commissioner: Democrat Jerica Richardson vs. Republican Fitz Johnson

Board of Education Post 1: Republican Randy Scamihorn (i) vs. Democrat Vickie H.W. Benson

Board of Education Post 5: Republican David Banks (i) vs. Democrat Julia Hurtado Board of Education Post 7: Republican Brad Wheeler (i) vs. Democrat Lindsey Terrebonne

SPLOST: Voters will be asked whether to continue the 1% Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. If approved, the tax is expected to collect $750 million over a six-year period.

ExploreEarly voting starts Oct. 12 in Cobb County

DEKALB COUNTY

Elections office

4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300

Decatur, GA 30032

404-298-4020

https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/voter-registration-elections/our-mission

The most interesting local item may be the county’s second referendum on ethics legislation in as many years.

The new proposal eliminates ethics board appointments made by non-elected entities, which the Georgia Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional, and replaces them with appointments from DeKalb’s state House and Senate delegations. It also would maintain the county’s ethics officer position while adding a new administrative position, which supporters say would add balance when adjudicating complaints against county employees and officials.

The other intriguing local race pits incumbent District 1 Commissioner Nancy Jester, the board’s lone Republican, against Democrat Robert Patrick, a former Doraville city councilman.

Ethics question: “Shall the Act be approved which revises the Board of Ethics for DeKalb County?”

County Commission, District 1: Republican Nancy Jester (I), Democrat Robert Patrick

Sheriff: Democrat Melody Maddox (I), Republican Harold Dennis

ExploreLearn more about DeKalb's ethics referendum Nov. 3

RELATED

ExploreDeKalb elections: Commission’s lone Republican faces challenger

Douglas County

Elections & Voter Registration

8700 Hospital Drive, 1st Floor, County Courthouse

Douglasville, GA 30134

(770) 920-7213

https://www.celebratedouglascounty.com/274/Elections-Voter-Registration

Democrats and Republicans continue their tug-of-war for control. Voters will settle two school board races and the contests for tax commissioner and clerk of Superior Court.

Tax Commissioner: Michael R. Richardson Jr., Republican; Greg Baker, (I) Democratic incumbent;

Clerk of Superior Court: Tammy M. Howard, (I) Republican; Annetta Danley Stembridge, Democrat;

Board of Education District 1: Francisco X.R. Artley, Republican; Devetrion Caldwell, (I) Democrat;

Board of Education District 5: Glenn T. Eastwood, Republican; Rita Fasina-Thomas, (I) Democrat.

Also, on the ballot: “Shall the Act be approved that authorizes Douglas County to utilize tax allocation districts and redevelopment powers under the “Redevelopment Powers Law,” as it may be amended from time to time?”

FAYETTE COUNTY

Elections office

Stonewall Administrative Complex 140 Stonewall Avenue West, Suite 208

Fayetteville, GA 30214

(770) 305-5408

https://www.fayettecountyga.gov/elections/

Incumbents Barry Babb, the Republican sheriff, and Charles Oddo, the Republican District 3 commissioner, are hoping to keep their seats as they face Democratic challengers Chris Pigors and William Lightle respectively for the positions.

County Commission District 1: Vickie Butler, Democrat; Eric Maxwell (I), Republican

County Commission District 5: William Lightle, Democrat; Charles Oddo (I), Republican

Sheriff: Chris Pigors, Democrat; Barry Babb (I), Republican

Board of Education District 1: Candice Aaron, Democrat; Randy Hough, Republican

City of Tyrone

City Council Post 3 (non-partisan): Billy Campbell, Danny Dolan, Matt Griffin, Eric T. Woods Sr.

Town of Brooks

Town Council (non-partisan): Donald Britt, Kay Brumbelow

FULTON COUNTY

Elections office

Fulton County Government Center

141 Pryor St. SW #4075

Atlanta, Ga. 30303

404-612-7020

https://www.fultoncountyga.gov/services/voting-and-elections

There are two contested county commission races in Fulton County.

In District 2 on the Northside, incumbent Republican Bob Ellis, elected in 2014, faces Democrat Justin Holsomback, who unsuccessfully ran to represent District 34 in the 2016 primary.

In District 4, which covers Fulton’s portion of the city of Atlanta, incumbent Democrat Natalie Hall, elected in 2014, is being challenged by Republican Barbara Gresham, a teacher who lives in Southwest Atlanta.

GWINNETT COUNTY

Voter Registrations and Elections Office

455 Grayson Highway, Suite 200

Lawrenceville, Ga. 30046

676-226-7210

Gwinnettcounty.com

Gwinnett voters this fall will choose the majority of the board of commissioners, including a new chair. They will pick a new sheriff after Republican Butch Conway decided not to seek reelection, and will consider replacing the longtime District Attorney, Republican Danny Porter.

Hanging in the balance is the Republican-majority leadership, which has been in place for decades.

Transit expansion is again on the ballot, as is a sales tax renewal for schools.

The election could also bring major change to the Gwinnett County Board of Education, where Democrats are challenging two longtime Republican incumbents. The board could also become much more diverse; in each district up for a vote, there is a Black candidate on the ballot. Gwinnett’s first Black board member, Everton Blair, was elected just two years ago.

Chairman, County Commission: David Post (R), Nicole Love Hendrickson (D)

District 1 County Commission: Laurie McClain (R), Kirkland Carden (D)

District 3 County Commission: Ben Archer (R), Jasper Watkins, III (D)

Sheriff: Luis “Lou” Solis Jr. (R), Keybo Taylor (D)

District Attorney: Daniel J. “Danny” Porter (I) (R), Patsy Austin-Gatson (D)

Clerk of Superior Court: Tiana P. Garner (D)

Tax Commissioner: Richard Steele (I) (R), Tiffany Porter (D)

Board of education

District 1: Carole Boyce (I), Karen Watkins

District 3: Mary Kay Murphy (I), Tanisha Banks

District 5: Tarece Johnson

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor: vote for two. Travys Harper, Ellis R. Lamme (I), Matthew R. Retter (I)

ESPLOST: The Gwinnett County Board of Education is seeking to extend a penny sales tax for education for five years. It would raise an estimated $985 million for land acquisition, technology and other infrastructure for schools. It would go into effect July 2022.

Gwinnett transit referendum: This penny sales tax would raise an estimated $12.2 billion over 30 years to pay for transit expansion in Gwinnett County. It would go into effect April 21.

ExploreGwinnett is on the cusp of political, racial change in Nov. 3 election

RELATED

Learn more about Gwinnett referendums for transit and taxes on Nov. 3

How the Gwinnett transit vote in 2020 differs from the referendum rejected in 2019

Hall County

Elections Office

2875 Browns Bridge Road (Lower Level)

Gainesville, GA 30504

(770) 531-3931

https://www.hallcounty.org/249/Elections

Republicans are in charge here, and only one local election remains on the Nov. 3 ballot. Hall County voters pick two candidates to serve as supervisors for the Hall County Soil and Water Conservation District. Running are Todd Chapman, Michael Crow, and incumbent Mike Haynes.

HENRY COUNTY

Elections office

40 Atlanta Street

McDonough, GA 30253

(770) 288-6448

https://www.co.henry.ga.us/Departments/D-L/Elections-Registration

Henry County residents will choose a new sheriff this November and decide whether to stick with several incumbent leaders, including County Commission Chairwoman June Wood and 2nd District Commissioner Dee Clemmons.

Sheriff: Reginald Scandrett, Democrat; Jack Redlinger, Republican

County Commission Chair: Carlotta Harrell, Democrat; June Barnes Wood (I), Republican

County Commission District 2: Dee Clemmons (I), Democrat; Steve Richardson, Republican

Superior Court Clerk: Sabriya Hill, Democrat; Barbara Harrison (I), Republican

Paulding County

Office of Elections & Voter Registration

240 Constitution Boulevard

Dallas, GA 30132

(770) 443-7503

www.paulding.gov/216/Elections-Voter-Registration

Squaring off for the commission chairmanship are Republican incumbent Dave Carmichael and Democrat Taurus Madric-Morris.

Republican incumbent Jeff Fuller faces Democrat Selena Jackson Guines for the at-large school board seat, while Republican incumbent Theresa Lyons is being challenged by Democrat Omassis Mendonca for the District 1 school board seat.

Paulding voters are also being asked to decide on the proposed creation of a Paulding State Court.

Spalding County

Spalding County Elections & Voter Registration Office

825 Memorial Drive

Griffin, GA 30223

(770) 467-4245

https://www.spaldingcounty.com/department/elections-voter-registration/

The sole local contest will be the race District 3 Democrat County Commissioner Rita Celeste Johnson and Republican challenger Tyler Brannon.

ExploreEarly voting in Georgia begins Oct. 12, ends Oct. 30

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