Michael Thurmond to seek DeKalb County CEO post

Former Dekalb County School Superintendent Michael Thurmond said this afternoon that he will seek the DeKalb County CEO post.

“After much deliberation and prayer with my family, friends and a broad cross-section of DeKalb County residents, I have decided to offer myself again to serve the citizens of DeKalb,” said Thurmond. “We need to restore confidence in DeKalb County government, and I trust my candidacy will be a step forward in uniting and strengthening our county.”

Thurmond, an attorney, was hired as DeKalb's superintendent in February 2013 to bring stability to the school system when its accreditation was in doubt. The school board hired a permanent superintendent, R. Stephen Green, in July.

Thurmond previously served as a Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1987 to 1992, and he was elected Georgia Labor Commissioner in 1998.

Former DeKalb County Commissioner and state senator Connie Stokes in January announced her intention to run for the office.

Calvin Sims, a former MARTA employee who previously ran in commission and CEO elections, has also said he will enter the race.

Interim CEO Lee May announced earlier this month he will not seek election to a full term to the office. Another potential candidate for the CEO's seat, retired DeKalb Sheriff Thomas Brown, said he would not enter the campaign if Thurmond decides to run.

May became DeKalb's chief executive when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him in July 2013 to replace CEO Burrell Ellis, who was elected to a four-year term in 2012. Deal had suspended Ellis after he was indicted, and a jury last year convicted Ellis of perjury and attempted extortion.

Candidates will file to run for office in March, leaving less than two months before the May 24 Democratic primary election.

In DeKalb, where a majority of residents vote for Democratic Party candidates, the primary usually decides the race. The general election is Nov. 8

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