Key races will be decided in May 24 election

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 23, 2016
File Photo provided by Dena Mellick

File Photo provided by Dena Mellick

The Democratic and Republican primary elections take place in DeKalb County on May 24 and there are some hotly contested races on the ballot.

Voters will get to weigh on County Commissioners, state representatives and the tax commissioners.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

People who wish to vote will need to bring one of the following forms of identification, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office:


– Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)

– A Georgia Driver’s License, even if expired

– Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state

– Valid U.S. passport ID

– Valid U.S. military photo ID

– Valid tribal photo ID

To see a sample ballot and find your polling information, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page by clicking here.

The following races are on the ballot:

County CEO 

Joe Bembry – Democrat

Connie Stokes – Democrat

Michael Thurmond – Democrat

Jack Lovelace – Republican

County Commission District 4

Sharon Barnes Sutton – Democrat (Incumbent)

Steve Bradshaw – Democrat

Lance Lawyer Hammonds- Democrat

Willie Willis – Republican

County Commission District 6

Kathie Gannon – Democrat

Warren Mosby – Democrat


Geraldine Champion – Democrat

Ted Golden – Democrat

Kyle Keith Jones- Democrat

Jeffrey Mann – Democrat (Incumbent)

Michael Williams-  Democrat

Harold Dennis – Republican

Tax Commissioner (NOTE: This will be on the ballot twice, once for the next term and once for the current unexpired term.) 

Irvin Johnson – Democrat

Susannah Scott – Democrat

Stan Watson – Democrat

State Court Judge (Nonpartisan) 

Roderick Bridges

Dax Lopez (Incumbent)


Donna Coleman-Stribling – Democrat

Nicole Marchand Golden – Democrat

House District 82

Mary Margaret Oliver – Democrat (Incumbent)

Brian Westlake

There will also be a vote to renew the one percent sales tax, known as SPLOST, which will fund projects in DeKalb County, Atlanta and Decatur.

Here is the text of the ballot question:

Shall the special one percent sales and use tax for educational purposes currently imposed in DeKalb County be reimposed on July 1, 2017, upon the expiration of the such currently imposed tax, for not longer than 20 consecutive calendar quarters, to raise not more than $650,057,000.00 to be used for the following educational purposes:

For the DeKalb County School District:

(1)(A) for making site, facility, and technology improvements to improve safety and security;

(B) for acquiring and developing land for, constructing and equipping, new and replacement schools and support facilities, as well as additions to existing facilities;

(C) adding to, upgrading, reconfiguring, renovating, replacing, modifying and equipping existing and replacement schools, support facilities, athletic fields and physical education facilities;

(D) making technology improvements;

(E) replacing, purchasing, upgrading school buses, support vehicles, and other capital equipment in an amount not to exceed $600,000,000.00 for the DeKalb County School District, all as more fully described in the Notice of Election. If imposition of the tax is approved by a majority of the voters within the DeKalb County School District, such vote shall also constitute approval of the issuance of general obligation debt of the DeKalb County School District in the principal amount of not to exceed $200,000,000 for the purpose of funding a portion of the above projects of the DeKalb County School District.

For the Atlanta Independent School System:

For capital outlay projects, including new schools, land, additions, renovations, equipment, debt service and technology systems, and making existing or new lease/purchase payments with respect to the acquisition of schools, facilities, school buses, school police vehicles, transportation vehicles, or other capital acquisitions at a total maximum cost of $20,057,000.00, for the Atlanta Independent School System as more fully described in the Notice of Election.

For the City of Decatur School System:

(1)(A) Acquisition, including through lease-purchase, construction, renovation, modification, addition, repair, replacement, demolition of, improvement and equipping of existing and new school buildings and facilities, early childhood learning buildings and other buildings useful and desirable in connection therewith, and including greenspace useful or desirable in connection therewith;

(B) To acquire and install computers, technology and information systems, hardware and infrastructure;

(C) To acquire school buses, school-related vehicles and transportation equipment;

(D) School improvement and maintenance projects;

(E) To acquire any property, real and personal, useful and desirable in connection with the projects listed in the Notice of Election; and

(F) To pay a portion of principal and interest on previously issued General Obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $30,000,000.00 for the City Schools of Decatur, all as more fully described in the Notice of Election

The general election will be held Nov. 8.

Can’t decide who to vote for? There are a number of sources to help you make up your mind.

Decaturish has provided coverage of some of the local races. To read those articles, click here.

Decaturish editor and publisher Dan Whisenhunt was also one of the panelists for the DeKalb County CEO debate hosted by the Atlanta Press Club:

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has provided coverage of the key races. To see those articles, click here.

DeKalb Strong, a political advocacy group that campaigned against the LaVista Hills and Tucker cityhood referendums, published a voter guide with candidate answers to questionnaires. While the group has taken positions on specific issues in the past, the questions in the May 24 voter guide are generally objective in their tone. Not all of the candidates responded to the questionnaire. To see the DeKalb Strong voter guide, click here.

Please vote on May 24.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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