Former state representative Stan Watson easily defeated three other candidates in the race for the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners’ district 7 seat.
Watson won 68 percent of the July 20 vote, according to preliminary county results. Kathryn Rice, a college instructor, trailed in second with 23.4 percent. Tierney Grier, head of a nonprofit, earned 3.7 percent and Bryce Evan Farbstein, an attorney, won 4.6 percent of the vote.
Watson was the only candidate with significant political experience – a key factor in his win, said Natalie Knight, his campaign manager.
“The DeKalb residents wanted someone who had experience working for them,” she said as election results poured in.
The commissioner’s seat opened this year because sitting Commissioner Connie Stokes – a former state senator – elected to run for Hank Johnson’s fourth congressional seat. Johnson avoided a runoff in that race, and Stokes came in third behind former county CEO Vernon Jones.
About 32,540 residents cast votes in the election. Across the county in a panoply of state and federal races, about 23 percent of the county’s 347,000 voters cast ballots, according to preliminary results.
“The people of DeKalb County have spoken,” Watson said in a statement through Knight. “They wanted a proven, effective and experienced leader who cares about the quality of life. I am committed to the citizens of DeKalb County. I’m committed to more jobs for DeKalb residents. I’m committed to small businesses, and I’m committed to a better education. I’m committed to safe, clean communities. I am ready to work for a better DeKalb County.”