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Candidates vie for positions in Clayton cities

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Forest Park, Jonesboro and Riverdale will hold citywide elections on Nov. 3.

Incumbents in Riverdale will each have one challenger, while many candidates will jockey for positions in Forest Park and Jonesboro.

In Riverdale, Ward 3 Councilwoman Wanda Wallace and Ward 1 Councilman Rick Scoggins face challenges from Veverly Brooks and Cynthia Stamps-Jones, respectively.

Wallace, 44, is an optometry assistant who has lived in Riverdale for 15 years, she said. If re-elected, she will enter her third, four-year term. Her challenger, Brooks, 56, said she has been a resident of Riverdale for five years. Prior to moving to Riverdale, Brooks said she spent 30 years working in Hawaii for AT&T. She is retired from the company.

Scoggins, 55, is a real estate agent who has lived in the city for 17 years, he said. If re-elected, he will enter his third, four-year term on the City Council.

Scoggins' challenger, Stamps-Jones, 48, said she has worked as a counselor for Clayton County Public Schools for the past six years. Four years ago, she lost a bid to unseat Scoggins.

Stamps-Jones said she is a member of the Riverdale Planning and Zoning Board, the Riverdale Police Department PACT (Police and Citizens Together), and the Archway Partnership Project Steering Committee.

In Forest Park, Mayor Corine Deyton is seeking a second term, but must get past two challengers, Darnell Moorer and Christine Ellington. She beat Moorer in the 2005 election, and Ellington is making her first run for mayor. Moorer is making a third try.

Moorer, 59, said he is a 19-year resident of Forest Park and retired supervisor for the Fulton County Emergency Service. He said he has served on Forest Park's Planning and Zoning Board for nine years, the last five as vice president. Moorer ran for the office of Forest Park's mayor in 2001 and 2005.

Ellington, 49, said she is a 12-year resident of Forest Park and an executive assistant in the Georgia Division of Public Health's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma division. She is a member of the Clayton County Democratic Party. She ran unsuccessfully for Forest Park City Council in 2007, she said.

Deyton, 72, said she served on the Forest Park City Council for nine years before winning the office of mayor in 2005. The 49-year resident will enter her second term if re-elected.

In Forest Park's Ward 1, Councilwoman Sparkle Adams, 54, will seek a second term against homemaker and home school teacher Kimberly James, and automotive shop owner Thomas Smith.

James, 39, said she has a degree in computer information systems from DeVry University, and currently supervises home school for her four children, ages 6, 8, 10, and 11. She said she has served as secretary of the Clayton County Democratic Party for five years and has lived in the city for 15 years.

Smith, 52, said he was born and raised in Forest Park, and that he worked for 20 years as a truck driver for Southeastern Freight Lines. He said he has owned a Forest Park automotive shop for nine years.

Adams, a Forest Park resident since 1985, said she works as an analyst for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, monitoring mail theft and money laundering. A former member of the Air Force, Adams said she retired as a master sergeant.

Prior to the City Council, Adams was as a member of the Forest Park/Fort Gillem Local Redevelopment Authority.

Forest Park Ward 2 Councilwoman Debbie Youmans will not seek another term, according to Forest Park officials, leaving the race wide open for political hopefuls Deverick Williams, 39, Karen-Brandee Williams, 42 (not related), and Donald Wright, 72.

Deverick Williams, said he was born in Forest Park, and has worked as a maintenance planner for Atlantic Southeast Airlines for the last six years, overseeing the scheduled maintenance of commercial aircraft. For the last two-and-a-half-years, he said he has served on Forest Park's Architectural Design Board.

Karen-Brandee Williams said she is a married homemaker and Forest Park resident since 2006. She said she has lived in Clayton County since 2002 and has a background and administrative work and customer service.

Wright said he is a 56-year resident of Forest Park who retired in 1993 as a distribution center manager for Kraft General Foods after 34 years.

In Jonesboro, seven people will run for three at-large seats on the City Council.

Incumbents Rick Yonce, Clarence Mann and Billy Powell will face challenges from Pat Sebo, Shawn Wooten, Joe Compton, and Brad Johnson.

Sebo, 56, said she has been a human resource specialist for Clayton County Public Schools for the past 11 years and currently is a member of the Jonesboro Housing Authority, which oversees Section 8 housing in the city limits of Jonesboro. She said she has been a member of several boards, including the Clayton Unit of the American Cancer Society and what is now the Clayton Center.

Wooten, 33, said he was born in Jonesboro, and has worked for the Clayton County Juvenile Court as a guardian ad litem and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) advisor since 2006. Prior to that, Wooten said he spent five years working as a transportation coordinator for Henry County Schools.

Compton, 52, a 20-year resident of Jonesboro, said he has worked as a plumber for the past 11 years. Prior to that, he said he spent 20 years working for his father's business, Compton Auto Parts in Jonesboro. In the mid 1990s, Compton said he spent six years working for the Clayton County Public Schools bus facility, computerizing their records and establishing an information-technology department.

Johnson once was police chief for the City of Jonesboro. Earlier this year, he was fired by the mayor and council. He could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Yonce, 49, has served for 10 years on the Jonesboro City Council. Born and raised in Jonesboro, Yonce said he will finish his second full term at the end of this year.

Mann, 68, said he has served on the City Council for four years and has lived in the city for 47 years. Prior to being on the City Council, Mann owned an exterminating business.

Powell could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Officials in the cities of Lake City and Morrow said they will not hold elections this year because incumbents in each race have no challengers.

In Morrow, Bob Huie, 77, and Virlyn Slaton, 76, are unopposed, according to Evyonne Browning, the city clerk. In Lake City, J.B. Sowell and Yvonne Kelly are unopposed, according to City Manager Jerry Garr.

No city elections are scheduled this year in the City of Lovejoy.