JONESBORO — Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson returned to office for another four years, according to unofficial preliminary returns Tuesday night.
Lawson defeated challenger Leslie Miller Terry, according to numbers available at press time. Lawson said she is thrilled to return to office.
“I’m very, very grateful to the citizens of Clayton County for returning me to office so we can continue the positive changes that have been made, including the work of the special purpose grand jury aimed at eliminating political corruption in this county,” she said.
Lawson began making headlines about two years ago when she started convening special purpose grand juries to investigate public officials. Her office has indicted former Sheriff Victor Hill and several of his former employees; a former manager at the Clayton County Water Authority; former Morrow City Manager John Lampl and former Forest Park City Councilwoman Karen-Brandee Williams.
Lawson said her office saved taxpayers about $2 million last year by getting inmates out of jail and into court to dispose of their cases. The office also collected $25 million in back child support.
According to the numbers available at press time, with 43 of 60 precincts reporting, Lawson took the vote, 12,884 to 8,585, or about 60 percent of ballots cast.
Lawson was elected in 2009 after serving the citizens of Clayton County for more than 30 years — 13 years as Clayton County Juvenile Court judge. Before ascending to the bench, Lawson was an assistant district attorney under longtime Clayton prosecutor Bob Keller.
Terry is a Philadelphia native who was elected Clayton County State Court Solicitor General in 2004. She lost a bid for re-election in 2008. Terry has worked as a defense attorney and as an assistant prosecutor in Fulton and DeKalb counties.
Terry could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.
For updated and complete results, see www.news-daily.com.