Polls are open Tuesday for Fulton County, Atlanta school board races

A sign, “Wait here to vote,” is shown as a voter walks toward voting booths. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC) AJC FILE PHOTO
A sign, “Wait here to vote,” is shown as a voter walks toward voting booths. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC) AJC FILE PHOTO

Some Fulton County voters will go to the polls Tuesday for two special elections: one to choose a new county commissioner in the south part of the county, and one for a new school board member for the central part of Atlanta.

There are nine candidates in each race, so both races will likely go to a runoff. That election will be held Oct. 15.

The county commission race is to fill the seat that was left empty when District 6 commissioner Emma Darnell died this spring, after 27 years in office. The district represents much of Fulton County south of Interstate-20, including the unincorporated part of the county and some or all of nine cities.

The candidates are: Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, who has a telemarketing company; Yoshina Colbert Bradford, a real estate broker; Joe Carn, a former employee in the Fulton County solicitor's office and former College Park city council member; Carl W. Dorsey Jr., a music producer; Sonia Frances-Rolle, an educational consultant; Sojourner Marable Grimmett, who works for an affordable housing nonprofit; Warren C. Head Jr., a retired retail sales manager; Rafer Johnson, a Delta Air Lines employee; and Gordon L. Joyner, a lawyer and a former Fulton County commissioner.

For the Atlanta school board, voters will choose a new District 2 representative. Byron Amos left the board to run for Atlanta city council.

The candidates are: Aretta Baldon, Christopher Brown, Keisha Carey, Will Chandler, Nathaniel Dyer, Davida Huntley, Ed Johnson, Chadd Jonesmith and Paula Kupersmith. Carey lost a 2017 runoff for the seat.

The Atlanta school board just announced it would not renew Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's contract after it expires in June. Whoever wins the election could be a critical swing vote on the board as it searches for a new superintendent. In at least one instance since Amos' departure, the board gridlocked in a 4-4 tie, an outcome that meant the motion under consideration failed.