With 96 percent of DeKalb County precincts reporting shortly after midnight, Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson was the clear winner over challenger Genet McIntosh Hopewell, an attorney. Hopewell’s campaign centered largely on accusations that Johnson behaved poorly at times from the bench, but the message didn’t appear to resonate with voters who by a large margin stuck with the incumbent.
A second Superior Court judge race in DeKalb is destined for a runoff. LaTisha Dear-Jackson, an attorney and former recorder’s court judge, led the pack of six candidates to replace retiring Judge Dan Coursey. Running second was Tunde Akinyele, chief Municipal Court judge in the City of Lithonia.
The top two candidates will square off in the July 24 runoff.
County Commissioner Larry Johnson beat challenger Felton Wright in the District 3 seat representing south DeKalb. Johnson said voters embraced his platform of improving neighborhoods and public safety and chose to keep him around.
“They said we were moving in the right direction and they appreciate the work we’ve done together,” he said late Tuesday.
Another incumbent on the Board of Commissioners, Gregory Adams, will face a runoff against media executive Lorraine Cochran-Johnson. Adams had a slight lead, but was short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win outright in a crowded contest of four candidates.
The two are vying for the District 7 seat representing the eastern half of the county.
DeKalb Board of Education vice chairman Marshall Orson gets another term in office after barely edging out Candice D. McKinley, a parent and attorney who hoped to unseat him.
In an open race to replace past board Chairman Melvin Johnson, Diijon DaCosta led Lance Hammonds with just a few precincts outstanding. DaCosta spoke at forums about being a graduate of DeKalb schools who knows firsthand about students’ needs. Hammond campaigned on the professional experience he would bring to the table.