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Eight vie for sheriff; challengers target incumbent lawmakers

Jennifer Ffrench-Parker | 3/14/2014, 6 a.m.

In the hot race for DeKalb County sheriff, the field ended up at eight when qualifying closed on March 7.

Incumbent Jeff Mann will face Dale Collins of Conley; R. “Tony” Hughes of Stone Mountain; and Ted Golden, former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones, Melody Maddox, Melvin Mitchell, and LaSalle Smith Sr., all of Decatur.

Nine incumbent state representatives and senators will face challengers in the May 20 primary.

In the Democratic primary for the state House, Reps. Michele Henson, District 86; Ernest “Coach” Williams, District 87; and Dee Dawkins Haigler in House District 91 attracted opposition when the qualifying ended on March 7.

Henson, one of the longest-serving members of the DeKalb Delegation, will face homemaker Jacqueline Adams of Clarkston.

Williams is being challenged by Stone Mountain businesswoman Ivy Green, and Dawkins Haigler is facing Conyers businesswoman Diane Adoma.

Among the Republicans, Tom Taylor, District 79, and Mike Jacobs, District 80, have challengers.

Taylor, a defense contractor, will face Dunwoody dentist James Bradley “Brad” Goodchild, and Jacobs, an attorney, will face Atlanta attorney Catherine Bernard.

In the Senate, Democratic incumbents Nancy “Nan” Orrock, District 36; Gail Davenport, District 42; and Gloria Butler, District 55, all have opponents.

Orrock, an Atlanta nonprofit executive, is being challenged by Angela Stovall, an Atlanta nonprofit director.

Davenport, a Jonesboro real estate professional, will face Marcus Davis, a Rex minister.

Butler of Stone Mountain will face Snellville educator Mark Anthony Williams.

In the open Senate District 42, Decatur attorney R. Kyle Williams will face nonprofit executive Elena Parent who lives in Atlanta. The winner will face Republican Gregory E. “Greg” Williams, who is running unopposed for his party’s nomination.

Jason Carter, who represented District 42, is unopposed for the Democratic nomination for governor.

In the open District 40 race, Benedict Truman II, an Atlanta consultant, will face Tamara Johnson of Tucker.

Among the Republicans, Senate District 40 incumbent Fran Millar is facing Atlanta manufacturer Richard D. “Dick” Anderson.

In the crowded race for state school superintendent, six Democrats and nine Republicans are seeking their parties’ nominations.

Four of the six Democrats are from South DeKalb. They are Jurita Forehand Mays, a Decatur nonprofit program director and consultant; Rita Robinzine, a teacher from Lithonia; Tarnisha Dents, a Decatur educator; and Valerie Wilson, a Decatur nonprofit director.

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, a nonprofit program director and consultant from Austell, and Marion Spencer “Denise” Freeman, a consultant/advocate from Tignall, round out the Democrats.

The Republican candidates are former DeKalb School Board member Nancy Jester of Dunwoody; Allen Bowles Fort, a Valdosta superintendent; Ashley Bell, an attorney; Kira Willis, a Roswell teacher; Mary Kay Bacallao, a college professor; Michael L. “Mike” Buck, an educator; Richard Woods, a Tifton self-employed educator; Sharyl Dawes, a Johns Creeks PTA member; and businessman T. Fitz Johnson.

Former Lithonia City Council member and consultant Doreen Carter and Gerald Beckman, a mayor and agribusinessman, are seeking the Democratic nomination for secretary of state.

The winner will face Republican incumbent Brian Kemp, who is unopposed, in November.