By Joel Hall
Former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, former District Attorney Jewel Scott, former State Sen. Gail Davenport, and former School Board Member Sandra G. Scott are among those vying for office in this year's elections.
At the end of qualifying on Friday, 18 candidates had put their hats in to run for four school board seats and two county commission seats, while at the state level, 22 local candidates qualified to run for seven State House seats and two State Senate seats. The list of candidates includes several familiar and sometimes-controversial faces, in addition to candidates new to Clayton County politics.
* State Senate District 34
In the Senate District 34 race, incumbent Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) will try to defend her seat against Democratic opponents Victor Hill, of Riverdale, and Travis Spruill, of Fayetteville. Zannie "Tiger" Billingslea, of Riverdale, qualified to run as a Republican.
Seay, 56, a retired banker and former school board member, served in the State House in 2001 and 2002 and has served in the Senate from 2003 to the present.
Hill, 45, who is listed by the Secretary of State's office as "self-employed," served one term as Clayton County's sheriff, until being defeated in a 2008 re-election bid by current Sheriff Kem Kimbrough. While Hill served one term in the State House in 2003 and 2004, his four years as sheriff were rife with controversy, beginning with his first day in office when he fired 27 deputies. The firings resulted in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit.
Spruill, 29, was listed as a self-employed business executive.
Billingslea, 45, was listed as a law enforcement officer.
* State Senate District 44
Current State Sen. Gail Buckner (D-Jonesboro) recently announced that she will vacate the seat to run for Secretary of State. Attempting to fill the seat are Democrats: former Sen. Gail Davenport of Jonesboro; current State. Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Ellenwood); and Dawn Randolph of Stockbridge.
Davenport, 61, a real estate agent, held the District 44 seat in 2007 and 2008, until being defeating by Buckner in the 2008 election. She is the founder and president of the Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County and is actively involved in several civic organizations, including the NAACP and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Glanton, 52, a U.S. Army veteran and ordained minister, is currently a member of the State House and chairman of the Clayton County Legislative Delegation. He currently serves as the president of the Clayton County Ministers' Conference and co-founded the Coalition of Clayton County Clergy.
Randolph, 44, is a public policy consultant. Over the last nine years, she has been assisting nonprofits and associations around the state advocate for drug-free communities, access to health care and open government, according to her web site.
* State House District 60
Gloria Bromell Tinubu, 57, an applied economist from Atlanta, will run for House District 60 unopposed as a Democrat. The Georgia Secretary of State's web site did not list incumbent State Rep. Georganna T. Sinkfield (D-Atlanta) as qualifying to seek another term.
* State House District 62
Incumbent State Rep. Joe Heckstall (D-East Point) will run unopposed. Heckstall, 60, is a motivational speaker.
* State House District 74
Incumbent State Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam (D-Riverdale) will try to defend her seat against Democrat and former Riverdale City Councilman Oritha "Rick" Scoggins, as well as Fayetteville resident, Emory Wilkerson.
Abdul-Salaam, 54, elected to the House in 2004, will serve her fourth-consecutive term if re-elected.
Scoggins, 55, a real estate agent from Riverdale, served two, four-year terms on the Riverdale City Council, until being defeated in 2009 by Riverdale Councilwoman Cynthia Stamps-Jones.
Emory Wilkerson, 49, an attorney, is also running as a Democrat.
* State House District 75
Current State Rep. Ron Dodson (D-Lake City) did not qualify to seek another term, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's web site. Seeking to fill the seat are: Kristy Dubuisson (Democrat), 25, a sheriff's office service clerk from Forest Park; Henry Shawn James (Democrat), 37, a U.S. Army veteran and real estate property manager from Riverdale; and Yasmin Neal (Democrat), 25, a detective from Jonesboro.
Neal ran unsuccessfully for the same seat in 2008. In 2009, James ran unsuccessfully as a Republican against Dodson in a special election to fill the unexpired term of former State Rep. Celeste Johnson.
* State House District 76
Seeking to replace Glanton in House District 76 are: Carlotta Harrell (Democrat), 49, a consultant from Ellenwood; Thomas Pough (Democrat), 24, a correctional officer from Jonesboro; and Democrat and former Clayton County School Board Member Sandra G. Scott, 48, a DeKalb County elementary teacher living in Rex.
In 2008, Scott was one of four Clayton County school board members removed by Gov. Sonny Perdue amid the system's accreditation crisis.
* State House District 77
Incumbent State. Rep. Darryl Jordan (D-Riverdale) will attempt to defend his seat, in November, against Republican James Brown. Brown, 63, is an entrepreneur from Riverdale and Jordan, 55, is a retired educator.
* State House District 78
Incumbent State Rep. Glenn Baker (D-Jonesboro), 63, a retired Georgia Power employee, will try to defend his seat against Democrat Jackie Anderson-Woods.
Anderson-Woods, 34, is a business owner and co-founder of Woody's Jump N Play, a 9,000 square-foot indoor inflatable park in Henry County.
On the local level, the only person to qualify as a Republican was Lee Scott, 60, who is running for District 4 Commissioner. All other candidates in races for school board or commission district seats filed as Democrats.
* School Board District 1
Incumbent School Board Member Pamela Adamson, 63, a retired educator from Hampton, will defend her seat against Richard F. Jones, Jr., a retiree and resident of Jonesboro. Adamson served as Clayton County Public Schools' liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) during the school system's attempt to regain accreditation.
* School Board District 4
Incumbent School Board Member Michael King, 55, an attorney from College Park, will defend his seat against: Xavier O. Ross, 19, an educator with Breakthrough Atlanta from College Park; and Rodney Jermaine Coleman, 25, an education advocate from College Park.
* School Board District 8
Incumbent School Board District 8 Member and Chairperson Alieka Anderson, 35, will run unopposed. She is an educator from Ellenwood.
* School Board District 9
Incumbent School Board Member Charlton Bivins, 45, will defend his seat against: Grandvial Hadjeb Quick, 55, a Junior ROTC instructor from Rex; and James Searcy, 52, a real estate agent from Ellenwood. Bivins serves as a lieutenant with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office and Searcy currently serves as chairman of the Housing Authority of Clayton County (HACC).
* County Commission District 1
Incumbent Commissioner Sonna Singleton, 48, will defend her seat against challenges from Rosalilia "Rosa" Barbee, Clarence Richard Reagan, Shegale Crute, and Joyce Baul.
Singleton is a parent/community liaison with Morrow Middle School. Barbee, 33, is a community activist from Rex. Reagan, 66, is a retiree and resident of Rex. Crute, 42, is a consultant living in Morrow. Baul, 56, is a business office administrator from Rex.
Crute, who ran unsuccessfully for House District 75 in 2008, is the former wife of current Clayton County District 3 Commissioner Wole Ralph.
* County Commission District 4
Incumbent Commissioner Michael Edmondson, 39, a financial advisor from Jonesboro, will face opposition from a new rival, the former district attorney, and the current mayor of Lovejoy.
Vying for Edmondson's seat in July will be: Dabouze Antoine, 30, a client assistant at the Calvary Refuge Center; Jewel Scott, 49, an attorney and former Clayton County District Attorney; and Joseph Murphy, 54, a general construction contractor and the mayor of Lovejoy.
Lee Scott, a business owner and marketing executive with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, a private marketing firm, qualified to run as a Republican.
Lee Scott and Jewel Scott are husband and wife. Lee Scott ran unsuccessfully against Edmondson for the same seat in 2006 and unsuccessfully against Board of Commissioners Chairman Eldrin Bell in 2008. Jewel Scott was defeated by current District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson in 2008.
On Friday, Murphy said he is not a resident of District 4, but a resident of District 3. He said he is running based on a law that he said allows candidates from outside a given district to run for a seat, and to live outside of the district until they are elected.
"We brought state law in that says you don't have to live in the district to run for office," Murphy said. "When you are running for the commission, you have to live in the county for 24 consecutive months, but you don't have to live in the district until you are sworn into the position."
The primary election will take place on July 20.