School board elections to shape future of Georgia’s 5 biggest districts

School board elections will be held in several metro Atlanta districts as part of the June 9, 2020, primary. AJC file photo BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

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School board elections will be held in several metro Atlanta districts as part of the June 9, 2020, primary. AJC file photo BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Voters will cast ballots in school board races in each of Georgia’s five largest school districts.

The boards that govern the Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Clayton school systems each have contested races in the June 9 election. Candidates who win seats on those boards will help shape the future of the state's biggest districts, which combined enroll more than half a million students in metro Atlanta.

Cobb County

Four of the school board's seven seats are on the ballot in June, and a couple of the primary races are contested.

For the Post 1 race, Vickie Benson and Lynn Lafferty will vie to become the Democratic nominee. The winner will face incumbent Republican Randy Scamihorn in the Nov. 3 election.

Post 3 candidate Tre Hutchins is the only person who qualified for the seat. The Democrat is seeking to replace incumbent David Morgan, who is not running for re-election.

In the most crowded race, Post 5 incumbent David Banks, a Republican, faces a primary challenge from Matt Harper and Shelley O’Malley, while Democratic candidates Tammy Andress and Julia Hurtado will go head-to-head.

Lindsay Terrebonne is the only Democrat who qualified for the Post 7 seat. She will advance to the November election to take on incumbent Republican Brad Wheeler.

Gwinnett County

Three of the school board’s five seats are open, and two of those races are contested in the primary.

In District 1, two candidates will face off in the Democratic primary for a chance to take on Republican incumbent Carole Boyce in the general election. The two Democratic candidates are Segun Adeyina and Karen Watkins.

The District 5 Democratic primary pits Louise Radloff, the longest serving school board member in the state, against newcomer Tarece Johnson. Radloff has run in the past as a Republican but has been a Democrat for the past three elections. She has said this will be her last run for elected office. Johnson, who has never held office, has a doctorate degree in education from Capella University. There are no Republicans running for the District 5 seat.

Incumbent Republican Mary Kay Murphy will face Democratic challenger Tanisha Banks in the general election District 3 race.

Fulton County

Three of the school board's seven seats are up for election this year, but only two are contested.

The elections are non-partisan.

In District 3, incumbent Gail Dean faces Jimmy Glenn.

The race for District 4 is open because current school board vice president Linda Bryant decided not to run for re-election. Three candidates are battling for her seat. They are Willie Davis, Jr., Franchesca Warren and Sandra Wright. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the top two will proceed to an Aug. 11 runoff election.

School board member Katha Stuart is running unopposed in the District 1 race.

DeKalb County

Four of the school board's seven seats are up for grabs during this year's election, including two where the incumbents aren't seeking re-election.

The races are non-partisan.

District 1 board member Stan Jester is not running again. Battling for that seat are certified public accountant Anna Hill and entrepreneur Andrew Ziffer.

Four newcomers are seeking the District 3 seat held by Michael Erwin, first appointed to the board by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2013. The candidates running to replace him are: Kevin Alexander, David Manuel, Willie R. Mosley Jr., and Deirdre Pierce.

In District 5, board vice-chairwoman Vickie B. Turner faces three opponents as she seeks another term. Those running against her are: Delores Brinkley, Zehline Davis and Willie Heard Jr.

Joyce Morley is running unopposed for her District 7 seat.

Candidates will compete in a runoff election, if needed.

Clayton County

Five of the school board's nine seats are up for election, including three contested races in the Democratic primary.

There are no Republicans running for school board. If a candidate in the Democratic primary does not receive a majority of votes, a runoff will take place to decide the election.

In District 3, board chairwoman Jessie Goree faces a challenge from Conquella Essex.

District 6 incumbent Mary Baker has opposition from Charlton Bivins and Barbara Pulliam.

District 7 incumbent Judy Johnson is running against Sabrina Hill and Chasity Latrice Thornhill.

Two other races are uncontested. Mark Christmas is running for re-election in District 2. Deatrice Haney is unopposed for the District 5 seat.

— Reporters Arlinda Smith Broady, Marlon A. Walker, Ben Brasch, Leon Stafford and Kristal Dixon contributed to this article.

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