By Curt Yeomans
One of the most controversial former members of the Clayton County Board of Education was able to ward off a write-in campaign by an outgoing state senator to win the State House of Representatives District 76 seat on Tuesday.
Former school board member, Sandra Scott, handily defeated State Sen. Gail Buckner (D-Jonesboro) in her bid to join the Clayton County Legislative Delegation. With all but the early and absentee ballots counted, Scott received 92.44 percent of the 8,570 ballots cast, to 3.78 percent for Buckner.
Buckner, who ran unsuccessfully for Georgia Secretary of State earlier this year, mounted a last-minute write-in campaign against Scott, because the former school board member was removed from office by Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2008.
Scott was dropped from the school board on the same day the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked Clayton County Public Schools' accreditation, largely because of what it deemed as a "dysfunctional" school board.
Early Wednesday morning, Scott deflected the criticism, saying this election was not about her past on the school board. "First, I would like to thank the voters in District 76 for their support," Scott said, in a written statement. "Please note, this position is not about me. It is about the people in District 76."
By winning the House District 76 seat, Scott will be replacing outgoing state Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Ellenwood), who was the author of ethics legislation directly aimed at the Clayton County Board of Education, in the midst of its accreditation crisis in 2008. The school system has since regained its accreditation, but on a probationary basis.
Scott has pledged to take up "the people's agenda" of jobs, education and transportation, with transparency, as a member of the Georgia General Assembly. She also said she will "bring every piece of legislation that affects the people of District 76, to the people, by having open forums, surveys, and e-mails to get their input."
Buckner could not be reached for comment late Tuesday evening.
In other legislative races in Clayton County, the Georgia Secretary of State's web site showed State Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) defeating Zannie "Tiger" Billingslea with 69.8 percent of the 35,392 votes cast (with only 54 percent of precincts in Clayton and Fayette counties reporting as of 12:50 a.m.), and State Rep. Darryl Jordan defeating James Brown, with 75 percent of the 9,272 votes cast (with only 47 percent of the precincts in Clayton and Fayette county reporting).
The Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration web site showed, with all but the early and absentee ballots counted, former State Sen. Gail Davenport defeating write-in candidate, Carlotta Harrell, with 95.75 percent of the 18,160 votes cast in Clayton County for the Senate District 44 race.
The seat includes portions of Clayton and Henry counties. Davenport held that senate seat from 2006 to 2008, when she was defeated by Buckner.
State Reps. Joe Heckstall (D-East Point), Roberta Abdul-Salaam (D-Riverdale), and Glenn Baker (D-Jonesboro), and newcomers Gloria Tinubu and Yasmin Neal, faced no opposition in their races for State House of Representatives seats.