Southside voters to see a Nov. 8 ballot full of contested local races

Henry County voters could make history this November by electing the first African-American woman as their top government official.

Longtime residents June Wood, a Republican, and Democrat Carlotta Harrell are vying for the Henry County Board of Commissioners chairman’s seat. Independent Don Henderson, a retired Delta Air Lines employee, also is seeking the office as a write-in candidate.

Wood is a retired Georgia Power executive. A former law enforcement officer, Harrell is chief of staff to Henry District V Commissioner Bruce Holmes.

Harrell wants to fully fund public safety and create smart economic growth with transportation options. Wood plans to develop a strategy to help the county increase its tax digest, improve public safety as well as the county’s infrastructure to address traffic.

In addition to choosing a commission chairman, Henry voters have a ballot full of contested races: sheriff and the District 2 county commission seat vacated by Brian Preston who resigned in July over questions of his residency status. Incumbent Republican Sheriff Keith McBrayer is facing Democratic challenger Joe Mack Eckler. Republican Jeff Robinson squares off against Democrat Dee Clemmons for the District 2 commission seat.

Having gone nearly a year without a mayor, Stockbridge residents will decide among four candidates to fill the vacancy left when Tim Thompson abruptly resigned last December. The four candidates are Partha Chakraborty, an entrepreneur and community volunteer; former city councilwoman Regina Lewis-Ward, retiree Judy B. Neal and former mayor pro tem Alphonso Thomas.

Hampton voters will decide whether to allow Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages.

Here are key issues and races in other southside counties:


Voters in College Park and Jonesboro have special elections.

Residents of College Park, which is near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, will decide whether the federal government should develop and pay for a new noise-insulation system. It would help gauge increased noise due to changing flight patterns at the airport.

Jonesboro voters will choose from among four candidates to fill the unexpired term of councilman Wallace Norrington who died in April. The candidates are certified senior care giver Arlene Charles; Alfred Dixon, a local QuikTrip convenience store employee; Bobby Lester, an emergency medical technician at Grady Hospital and Keith Norrington, son of the deceased councilman. Norrington’s term ends Dec. 31, 2019.

In May, voters in the heavily-democratic county overwhelmingly returned incumbents to the county's top three offices - district attorney, sheriff and commission chairman - as well as the school board and a commission seat. Newcomer Felicia Franklin Warner was elected District 3 commissioner. Incumbent District 2 Commissioner Gail Hambrick faces write-in candidate Steven VanDyke, currently a constituent aide to District 3 Commissioner Shana Rooks.


Voters will see contested races for tax commissioner, District 1 commissioner as well as District 1 and 5 school board seats.

Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner Kristie King, a Republican, faces Democratic challenger Rasheed “B.J.” Dawodu, a small business owner with a 20-year-plus background in public financial management.

In the District 1 commission race, attorney, former commissioner and Republican Eric Maxwell is running against Democrat Pam Reid, executive director of AVPRIDE, a nonprofit youth leadership organization, for District 1 commissioner.

Incumbent District 1 school board member Republican Barry Marchman faces Democratic challenger Melissa Lohr, a community volunteer who served as president of Tyrone Elementary School PTO.

In the District 5 school board race, Republican Brian Anderson, a professional speaker and leadership trainer, is running against Democrat Ching Ching Yap, a homemaker.