Larry Lowe, who lives in the Northlake area, said he voted for Cochran-Johnson for two reasons: “ethics and change.”
“My vote wasn’t necessarily pro-Lorraine, because neither candidate had a robust platform or cause,” he said. “But I believe Lorraine will bring a new, younger perspective.”
Cochran-Johnson is 48, and Adams is 54.
Among Cochran-Johnson’s supporters were the other two candidates who challenged Adams this year but finished third and fourth in the primary — Ed Williams and John E. Tolbert Jr. Williams said he decided early on that, if he didn’t make it past the first ballot, he would support her.
“John, Lorraine and myself all agreed that anyone would be better than Adams remaining in office,” Williams said.
Williams entered the race primarily because six commissioners, Adams included, voted in February to raise their base pay by 60 percent. That vote was taken without explanation or debate, and the salary issue was not on the meeting agenda. It took many residents by surprise.
In the days leading up to the runoff, Williams waved signs along Memorial Drive for Cochran-Johnson and emailed her campaign materials to his supporters. He said he was “jubilant” after learning she had won.
Cochran-Johnson said questions about the pay raise issue and the sexual harassment complaint came up often on the campaign trail. But she hopes to pivot to the issues she holds dear as she prepares to take office, such as improving public safety and economic development.
She also wants to reduce blight in her district, especially in South DeKalb.
“You are what people perceive. So, when you see high grass and you see rundown buildings, these are all things we need to address more actively,” she said.
Adams released a statement on Tuesday thanking those who supported him and promising to keep working through the end of his time in office.
“It has been an honor to serve,” he said. “I look forward to making additional progress on these key issues as I close out my term this year and working with my successor on a smooth transition.”