JONESBORO — Only one thing is certain following the end of candidate qualifying for Clayton County Board of Education seats — outspoken school board member Jessie Goree will be remaining on the board for another four years.
Goree is the only one of five school board incumbents who did not draw an opponent for the Nov. 6 school board special elections. The Clayton County Elections and Registration office held candidate qualifying this week for the upcoming elections for school board districts 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.
This will be the first board election since a federal judge redrew the boundary lines for the school board districts in June. A judge had to redraw the boundaries because Clayton County legislators did not introduce legislation to redraw the lines in the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year.
The delay in getting new lines drawn meant the school board races could not be included in this week’s primary election. The Nov. 6 date was then chosen because it is the date of the General Election, where voters will cast ballots in the Presidential race.
Twelve people signed up to run for the school board seats. In addition to Goree, sitting school board vice-Chairman Mary Baker and board members Ophelia Burroughs, Trinia Garrett and Wanda Smith are all seeking re-election.
The field of candidates includes two people who have run unsuccessfully in the past for school board seats. District 2 candidate Jermaine Coleman lost in a bid two years ago to unseat District 4 board member Michael King. District 5 candidate Xavier Ross tried to run against King as well in 2010 but was disqualified at the time for being too young to run for office.
Ross was named as a “person of interest” earlier this year in an investigation into missing PTA funds at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. He declared his innocence in a written statement provided to the Clayton News Daily in late May.
The full list of qualified school board candidates includes:
Mark A. Christmas
Wanda Smith (Incumbent)
Jessie Goree (Incumbent)
Ophelia S. Burroughs (Incumbent)
Xavier Octavio Ross
Mary Baker (Incumbent)
Trinia M. Garrett (Incumbent)
Judy R. Johnson