JONESBORO — An attorney seeking to unseat Clayton County Commission Vice-Chairman Wole Ralph in a run-off later this month announced Thursday she has picked up the endorsement of a former opponent.
Ralph has in turn announced several endorsements of his own from community leaders.
Shana Rooks’ campaign announced Ronald Ringer has endorsed her and will “work diligently” to ensure her election in the Aug. 21 run-off. Ringer received 13.15 percent of the 8,512 votes cast in the July 31 general primary election for Commission District 3.
Rooks received 42.79 percent of the votes in the primary compared to Ralph’s 44.07 percent.
“Ms. Rooks is the change our district needs,” said Ringer in a statement released by the Rooks campaign.
Rooks and Ralph are heading into the run-off with Ralph’s narrowest primary lead in the three times he has run for the office. He’s represented District 3 on the commission since 2005.
Rooks, who is running on a platform of government transparency, said she is “honored and humbled” to receive Ringer’s endorsement.
“The trust he has placed in me and my ability to bring change to the people of District 3 is immeasurable,” she said.
Ralph said Commissioners Sonna Singleton and Gail Hambrick, Clayton County NAACP President Synamon Baldwin, Clayton County Christian Ministers Association President Pastor Arthur Powell, Divine Faith Ministries International Pastor Don Battle and the leaders of 63 homeowner’s associations in District 3.
“I’m especially glad to receive the endorsements of these community leaders who have worked to make Clayton County better,” said Ralph.
Ralph is facing DUI, reckless driving, failure to maintain a lane and obstruction of an officer charges in Fulton County State Court. The charges stem from a February 2011 incident when Atlanta police pulled him over for allegedly swerving back and forth across Metropolitan Parkway and driving on a median in the middle of the road after pulling out of a nightclub’s parking lot.
Police also accused him of having bloodshot eyes, “extremely slurred” speech and an “overwhelming odor of alcohol” on his breath; resisting arrest by trying to “put his hands under his belly”; refusing to take field sobriety tests and claiming to be a police commissioner during the traffic stop.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. No trial date has been set.
The Rooks campaign criticized Ralph for the arrest as well as an ongoing Clayton County District Attorney’s office investigation into his and other county officials conduct and his vote in 2011 to raise property taxes by 34 percent.
Ralph, Singleton, Hambrick, County Manager Wade Starr and Finance Director Angela Jackson have jointly filed a request in Superior Court to have District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson disqualified from the investigation into their actions.
“The last two years of Wole Ralph’s representation he has face [sic] significant controversy over his public and private decisions,” according to a revised news release issued by the campaign late Thursday night. “Such issues have led many to question whether he is the right person to continue to represent District .”
The district includes southwestern parts of Clayton County including the Panhandle region and parts of Jonesboro and Lovejoy south of Flint River Road and west of Tara Boulevard.