Local residents head to election polls Tuesday

By Ed Brock

Residents of most of Clayton County's cities will go to the polls Tuesday to vote for mayoral and city council positions and officials have some last minute tips.

In Riverdale, City Clerk Sandra Meyers is urging people to remember that they do need to bring photo identification in order to vote even in a municipal election.

"Don't forget your purse in the car," Meyers said.

Voters in Forest Park should remember to go in the front door at city hall that leads directly to the council chambers where the voting machines will be and not the side entrance where residents go to pay their city bills. And in Lake City residents will vote in the old city hall building at 5535 North Parkway while the other elections will be held in their respective current city halls.

Jonesboro voters should remember that, while the names of former city council candidates Tammy Cole and Claude "Buddy" Sealey will still appear on the ballot the two are no longer in the running and a vote for them will not count.

"We didn't have time to change the ballots," City Clerk Joanie Jones said.

Cole was disqualified from the election because she was not registered to vote in the city before the time of qualification and Sealey withdrew from the campaign due to scheduling conflicts with his job.

Challengers Carl Ayers, 60, Donna Meadows, 59, and 55-year-old Linda Wenz will face off against each other and incumbent Councilman Cliff "Rip" Sewell, 69, in Jonesboro's at-large council election. Mayor Joy Day will run against former Councilman Luther Maddox.

In Riverdale Mayor Mary Lee, who is 69 and has held the seat since 1990, will face challenges from 38-year-old Phaedra Graham, 67-year-old Sherri Jefferson and 40-year-old Kellie Jackson, daughter-in-law of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson.

Vying for the Ward 4 City Council seat will be incumbent Robby Strain and challenger 48-year-old Kenny Russin. Michelle "Mickie" Bruce, 41, won the Ward 2 seat without opposition to take the place of incumbent Ann Dunivin who decided not to seek re-election.

Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, who has held the position for about 30 years, will face Jim Defee in the election. Incumbent council members Dwight Ginn and Bobby Williams, both 68, will run against 41-year-old Kenneth Betz Jr. and 59-year-old Raymond Johnson.

Forest Park Mayor Chuck Hall is not up for re-election in this race but council members Corine Deyton, Donald Judson and Wes Lord are. Deyton, 66, will compete against 59-year-old David Halcome Sr. for Ward 3, 72-year-old Judson will face 69-year-old John Buckholts in Ward 4 and Lord, 56, will try to keep the Ward 5 seat from 37-year-old David Lockhart.

There is only one election in Lovejoy in which 59-year-old Richard Simmons will try to take the council seat to which incumbent Bobby Cartwright was appointed six months ago.

There is no election in Morrow because there were no challengers for Mayor Jim Millirons and council members Tom LaPorte and Charles Sorrow.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.