Metro Atlanta elections: A look at local runoff races

Gwinnett County residents cast their votes during the Georgia primary elections at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Gwinnett County residents cast their votes during the Georgia primary elections at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Some candidates are competing to win their seats outright. Some are just hoping to advance to November’s general election.

Either way, the Aug. 11 runoff elections on ballots across metro Atlanta will help determine the next wave of local government leaders.

Below is a list of key local races, from school board and county commission to judges and court clerks.

Incumbent Judy Johnson is trying to hold onto her District 7 Board of Education seat in a runoff against Sabrina Hill, who outpaced Johnson in the June primary.

COBB COUNTY

Cobb County has five runoff races, including two that will help decide replacements for current commissioners.

Democrats Shelia Edwards and Monique Sheffield are trying to replace District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who is running for county commission chair. In District 2, Republicans Fitz Johnson and Andy Smith are vying to fill the shoes of retiring Commissioner Bob Ott, with the winner facing Democrat Jerica Richardson in November’s general election.

Commission District 2: Fitz Johnson vs. Andy Smith

Commissioner District 4: Shelia Edwards vs. Monique Sheffield

Clerk of Superior Court: The winner among Democrats Connie Taylor and Nancy Syrop will face incumbent Republican Rebecca Keaton in November.

State Court judge: Trina Griffiths vs. Diana Simmons

Superior Court judge: Jason Marbutt vs. Gregory Shenton.

DEKALB COUNTY

The most unusual race in DeKalb County is a runoff in the special election for sheriff — where the winner will serve only through the end of the year. Either incumbent Sheriff Melody Maddox or retired sheriff’s office Maj. Ruth “The Truth” Stringer will fill out the unexpired term of former Sheriff Jeffrey Mann.

Maddox has already won a separate Democratic primary and will face Republican challenger Harold Dennis in November for the right to be DeKalb’s next full-term sheriff.

Commission District 1: The winner of the Democratic runoff between former Doraville City Councilman Robert Patrick and political newcomer Cynthia Yaxon will face incumbent Republican Commissioner Nancy Jester in November.

Commission District 6: The winner of the Democratic runoff between Maryam Ahmad (a public health data analyst and community activist) and Ted Terry (the former mayor of Clarkston) will replace retiring longtime Commissioner Kathie Gannon. There is no Republican challenger.

Sheriff (nonpartisan special election): Incumbent Sheriff Melody Maddox vs. retired sheriff’s office veteran Ruth Stringer.

School Board District 3: Willie R. Mosley Jr. vs. Deirdre Pierce

Superior Court: Yolanda Parker-Smith and Mindy Pillow are vying to replace retiring longtime Judge Clarence Seeliger.

FULTON COUNTY

The most notable Fulton runoff contest is for District Attorney, with six-term incumbent Paul Howard facing Fani Willis, who used to run Howard’s trial division. Howard has been accused not only of ethics and financial charges, but sexual harassment and sexual misconduct claims. And that was before his high-profile choices about charging Atlanta police officers with using improper force, including the police killing of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks during the summer protests to end race-based police violence against Black people.

District Attorney: Paul Howard vs. Fani Willis

Sheriff: Incumbent Theodore “Ted” Jackson vs. Patrick “Pat” Labat

Superior Court: Melynee Leftridge Harris faces Tamika Hrobowski-Houston to succeed Judge Constance C. Russell, who chose not to run for re-election.

School Board District 4: Franchesca Warren faces Sandra C. Wright to succeed Linda Bryant, who chose not to run for re-election.

GWINNETT COUNTY

One candidate in the Democratic runoff for chairman of the county commission has suspended his campaign, asking voters to choose his competitor. But in other races, candidates are continuing to battle for the right to be on the ballot in November.

Sheriff: Democrats Curtis Clemons and Keybo Taylor are vying to replace retiring longtime sheriff Butch Conway. The winner will face Republican Lou Solis in the general election.

Commission chair: Democrat Nicole Love Hendrickson was just shy of 50% of the vote in June’s primary. Fellow Democrat Lee Thompson, Jr. will be on the ballot, but asked voters to choose Hendrickson instead. The winner will face Republican David Post to fill the seat of retiring chairman Charlotte Nash.

Commission District 3: Democratic voters will choose between Jasper Watkins III and Derrick J. Wilson, while Republicans will choose between Ben Archer and Matt DeReimer. The runoff winners will square off in November for the right to replace Republican Tommy Hunter, who is not seeking re-election.

Tax commissioner: Democrats Regina M. Carden and Tiffany Porter are in the runoff. The winner will face Republican incumbent Richard Steele.

Superior Court: Incumbent Judge Kathryn Schrader is being challenged by Deborah R. Fluker in this nonpartisan runoff.

HENRY COUNTY

June’s 10-person Democratic primary for Henry County sheriff is now down to two candidates. Tony Brown and Reginald Scandrett are competing in the August runoff in hopes of replacing retiring Sheriff Keith McBrayer.

The Democratic winner will face Republican Jack Redlinger in November’s general election.

Sheriff: Tony Brown vs. Reginald Scandrett

Board of Education, District 2: Incumbent Josh Hinton, who serves as school board chairman, faces Makenzie McDaniel.

Staff writers Ben Brasch, Kristal Dixon, Arielle Kass and Leon Stafford contributed to this article.