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Candidates turn to runoffs

By Greg Gelpi

With one vote between being in the runoff and not, the results of one school board race won't be decided until all military votes are counted.

Incumbent Barbara Wells who received 849 votes to lead the votes in the race for the District 5 seat. Wendell Rod Johnson pulled in 491 votes, just one vote ahead of Norreese "Coach" Haynes. The candidate declared the second top vote getter after all the ballots are counted will be in a runoff with Wells. Jermaine Dawson, who was also in the race, had 408 votes.

Military ballots, though, are still being collected and the final election results may not be certified until Friday evening.

Haynes said he plans to wait until all the votes are counted and then may file a protest if he is not satisfied with the result. He said one issue could be getting absentee voting going late because the ballots had not arrived on time.

"I am going to hang in and fight. I am just getting started," he said.

The race is one of three races for Clayton County Board of Education that will be decided in runoff elections.

"I'm very pleased with the results," Wells said. "I really wasn't surprised because elections are a funny thing. You never know how they're going to turn out."

Staying up late watching the results come in, she said she celebrated by going home and falling asleep. She can't rest long, though, with the runoff election approaching.

"I just keeping working hard and getting my message out," Wells said.

Results put incumbent Chairwoman Nedra Ware with 1,290 votes in a runoff with Lois Baines Hunter who lead the District 2 race with 1,651 votes. Roosevelt Bailey had 781 votes.

David Ashe's 654 votes put him ahead of incumbent Carol Kellam's 649 votes to send the two into a runoff in District 7. Devadas Lynton had 432 votes.

When Ashe announced his candidacy, he said he wanted to restore professionalism to the position. Kellam was appointed to the position moments before the school board fired Superintendent Dan Colwell, which preceded a yearlong probation.

Lynton is turning his attention to endorsing Ashe.

"I'm encouraging all of my supporters to support David Ashe," he said. "I think David Ashe will do a good job."

Lynton said that he will continue to remain active in the community.

"I just want to remain as positive as I can," Ashe said. "I want to (win) on what I have to offer. Right now I feel like I've just begun."

He said that his task now is to get his supporters back to the polls for the runoff.

Although he wants to bring professionalism to the position, Kellam said she didn't think the probation had anything to do with the results.

"(The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) has nothing to do with this election," she said. "I didn't use that with my platform."

Kellam said she will regroup and continue to send out campaign literature in the coming weeks to maintain her seat on the board.

In District 3, Yolanda Everett eked past Michelle L. Jackson by just more than a percentage point. Everett had 1,755 votes to Jackson's 1,699 votes in the race to fill the seat vacated by Linda Crummy, who chose not to run.

Jackson, though, said she intends to ask for a recount since the results were so close.

Eddie White lead the District 6 race, vacated by Bob Livingston's decision not to seek re-election. White received 2,038 votes, and his opponent Janice Scott had 1,771.

White will face Republican Joel Dixon in the November general election. Dixon is the only Republican candidate running for school board.