Voters signed in before casting their ballots at Mary Mcleod Bethune Middle School during a July 14 election in DeKalb County. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Large field of candidates competes for Ga. Senate seat

Nine candidates are running in a special election for a Georgia Senate seat representing south DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton counties.

The candidates for the Nov. 3 election include a state representative, a tax appraiser and several business professionals. Qualifying to run for the seat concluded Wednesday.

The winner of the race will replace former Sen. Ronald Ramsey, D-Lithonia, whom Gov. Nathan Deal appointed in July to become a judge in DeKalb State Court’s Traffic Division. Ramsey had served in the Senate since 2007, and there’s more than a year left in his two-year term.

If none of the candidates wins a majority in the nonpartisan race, a runoff will be held Dec. 8. Senate District 43 covers about 173,000 residents.

The candidates are:

  • Diana Adoma, a Republican from Conyers and tax preparation store co-owner. Adoma ran in the Democratic primary election for a state House seat last year before switching parties.
  • Tonya Anderson, a Democrat from Lithonia and state representative. Anderson has been in office since 2013, and she listed her occupations as pastor and certified life coach.
  • Sharon Griffin Sawyer, a Democrat from Covington and financial analyst.
  • Marcus Jordan, a Democrat from Covington and chief appraiser for Newton County. Jordan ran for the Newton Commission in 2012.
  • Bill Kennedy, a Republican. Kennedy is retired and he didn’t list his home town.
  • Angela Moore, a Democrat from Lithonia and public relations manager. Moore has worked for the DeKalb Democratic Party and served on the executive board for the YMCA Academy of South DeKalb.
  • Rodney Upton, a Democrat from Conyers and contractor. Upton ran for the state House in 2010.
  • JaNice Van Ness, a Republican from Conyers and former Rockdale Commissioner. Van Ness is currently the chairwoman of the Rockdale Republican Party, and she’s the owner and founder of Peachtree Academy.
  • Stan Williams, a Democrat from Conyers and retired consultant. Williams is a former chairman of the Rockdale Democratic Party.

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