Tom Worthan, third from left (red tie), consults with other county commission chairs from around metro Atlanta in 2011. Worthan is a three-term chairman. (AJC file / Bob Andres)

Douglas County chairman loses seat after racially charged comments

A Douglas County Republican commission chair caught on tape making disparaging comments about black candidates lost his bid for reelection Tuesday to his Democratic challenger—a black woman.

Romona Jackson-Jones beat Tom Worthan with a healthy majority.

Worthan, who has been elected to the county commissioner five times and commission chairman three, was forced to apologize in September after he was secretly recorded at a public county festival.

In that tape, Worthan could be heard saying that governments run by blacks “bankrupt you,” and that if African-American sheriff candidate Tim Pounds were elected, “he would put a bunch of blacks in leadership positions” they may not be qualified for.

After the tape surfaced, Worthan went on Fox 5 Atlanta and apologized.

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