Today is the day when 28 candidates for mayoral and city council seats in Clayton County will find out how successful they have been in convincing voters to cast votes for them in municipal elections being held in seven Clayton cities. The polls will be open from 7 a.m., to 7 p.m.
Voters in College Park, Forest Park, Jonesboro, Lake City, Lovejoy, Morrow and Riverdale will determine the occupants of three mayoral seats, nine city council seats, and whether six of those cities will allow package alcohol sales on Sundays.
Morrow is the only city in the county that does not have a Sunday alcohol sales referendum on its ballot. In Riverdale, it is the only contested issue on the ballot, since the town’s mayoral and city council seats only have one candidate running in each race.
In the contested mayoral elections, residents of College Park and Jonesboro will be deciding whether to return the incumbent mayors to office, or chose new mayors. College Park Mayor Jack Longino is facing a challenge from non-profit director, Roderick Gay, while Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox is being challenged by the city’s former mayor, Joy Day, and political newcomer, John Templeman.
Morrow voters, meanwhile, will be picking between hotel manager Joseph “J.B.” Burke, and avionics technician ,Jeff DeTar, to see who will replace outgoing Mayor Jim Millirons. It is the only contested race on the city’s ballot.
Lovejoy voters will not be able to vote for a new mayor at this time, even though a new mayoral term had been scheduled to begin in January. The city’s former mayor, Joe Murphy, had been running unopposed for re-election, but he resigned from office last month and withdrew his name from the mayoral race in a deal with the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office.
Lovejoy is expected to hold a special mayoral election in the spring.
Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, and Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, are running unopposed for re-election in their respective cities. Forest Park’s mayoral office is not up for election this year.
Aside from the Sunday alcohol sales referendums and mayoral races, five of the seven cities have city council races on their ballots this year.
Jonesboro voters will be choosing who will fill three at-large city council seats from the largest candidate pool in the county. Nine candidates are seeking the seats.
The Jonesboro City Council candidates include incumbent City Councilmembers Roger Grider, Wallace Norrington and Bobby Wiggins; former City Councilmembers, Billy Powell and Rick Yonce; business owner, Jack Bruce; pawn shop owner, Wayne Day (not related to Joy Day); retired Clayton County Juvenile Court program coordinator, Suzanne Igler, and real estate broker, Randy Segner.
Forest Park voters will be choosing between Lillian Holloway and Latresa S. Akins in the town’s Ward 4 City council race, and between City Councilmember Linda Lord and Estes Team Leader Warren Gerton in the Ward 5 City Council race. Ward 3 City Councilmember Maudie McCord is running unopposed for another term in office.
Incumbent Lake City Councilmembers Bobby Williams and Dwight Ginn are facing challenges from cleaning business president, Raymond O. Johnson, and mechanical engineer, Aric Walker, in a race to fill two at-large city council seats.
College Park incumbent Ward 3 City Councilmember Tracy Wyatt is being challenged by attorney, Wesley Meadows, in the city’s only contested council race. Incumbent Ward 1 City Councilmember Ambrose W. Clay is running unopposed for re-election.
Lovejoy Post 1 City Councilmember Tommy Green, III, is facing a re-election challenge from program analyst, LaToshia Rochel Gray.
Two city councilmembers seeking re-election, Riverdale Ward 2 Councilman Wayne Hall and Forest Park Ward 4 Councilman Donald Judson, passed away in recent weeks, after ballots were already printed in their respective towns. As a result, voters will still see their names on the ballots , but votes cast for these men will not be counted.
Barbershop manager, An’Cel Davis, who was challenging Hall for the Riverdale Ward 2 City Council seat, will now automatically take the seat because there is no other candidate running in the race. Riverdale Ward 4 Councilmember Kenny Ruffin is also running unopposed for re-election.
Morrow also has two city council seats that will be uncontested because only two candidates, incumbent City Councilmember Jeanell Bridges and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Senior Construction Analyst Larry W. Ferguson, are running for the seats.
The polling locations for each city are as follows:
• Ward 1/ Ward 2 North/ Ward 3 North
College Park Auditorium
3631 Main Street, College Park
• Ward 2 South/ Ward 2 Mid
Sid Truitt Senior Center
4320 Herschel Rd., College Park
• Ward 3 South/ Ward 3 Mid/Ward 4 South
Midway Missionary Baptist Church
2280 Godby Road, College Park
• Ward 4 North
Harriet Tubman Elementary School
2861 Lakeshore Drive, College Park
Forest Park Recreation Center
803 Forest Parkway, Forest Park
Jonesboro Fire House Museum and Community Center
103 West Mill Street, Jonesboro
Lake City Public Works Building
5535 North Parkway, Lake City
Lovejoy City Hall
2296 Talmadge Road, Lovejoy
Morrow Municipal Complex
1500 Morrow Road, Morrow
Riverdale City Hall Annex
6690 Church Street, Riverdale