Three qualify in race to fill late Henry commissioner’s seat

Three people will vy to replace Henry County Commissioner Gary Barham as the south metro Atlanta community's District 3 representative.

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Three people will vy to replace Henry County Commissioner Gary Barham as the south metro Atlanta community's District 3 representative.

Three people have qualified to run for the seat of former Henry County Commissioner Gary Barham, who died in March from complications of COVID-19.

Democrats Briana Clay and Sarita Dyer will face incumbent Republican Charles “Greg” Cannon in the June 15 special election. Barham, a Republican, had been the commissioner for District 3 since 2013 and spent 31 years working for the city of McDonough before his death.

Special election set June 15 in Cobb County for state House seat

The race takes place as Henry, the second-fastest growing county in metro Atlanta, has shifted from a majority white, rural community to a majority-minority suburban stronghold. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden won the county in the last two elections.

Cannon was appointed to fill Barham’s position in early April after a controversial law giving the party in control of a vacated seat — in this case Republicans — the right to name a temporary successor. The legislation was pushed through the General Assembly’s 2021 session by Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur.

The move angered three of the four Democrats on the six-member commission. The Democratic members argued that the seat should have been left open until the special election.

Cannon is Henry County’s former coroner and co-owner and CEO of Cannon Cleveland Funeral Directors in McDonough. Clay is an administrative assistant, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, while Dyer is retired from the military.

ExploreEarly voting for the special election begins May 24