Henry County’s diversity part of southside’s political sea change

Portrait of newly elected Henry County Commission Chair June Wood in front of photographs of previous chairs of the Board of Commissioners. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Portrait of newly elected Henry County Commission Chair June Wood in front of photographs of previous chairs of the Board of Commissioners. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

A trio of new black elected officials — Darius Patillo, June Wood and Dee Clemmons — not only bring more racial diversity to Henry government but a political twist as well. Wood, the new female county commission chair, is a conservative Republican. Patillo is the first Democrat to serve as District Attorney in more than 20 years. Democrat Clemmons holds the traditionally Republican District 2 seat. District 2 is home to the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the county’s airport and other economic gems.

“The county’s changing. There’s been some demographic shifts not just racially but politically,” Patillo said.

Henry’s activism reflects widespread political change taking place across the southern end of metro Atlanta. In November, voters in Fulton County approved the formation of the City of South Fulton, a new city of just under 100,000 people, mostly African American. Nearby Fayette County is settling into its new district voting system which helped install the first black commissioner in the county’s nearly 200-year-old history.

Go here for the full story on myAJC.com

In Other News