Twist ending in Atlanta school board race sets up Dec. 5 runoff 


In the days after the Nov. 7 election, Atlanta school board candidate John Wright wanted to launch his runoff campaign.

But on Wednesday afternoon, Wright said he learned he wouldn’t be battling on Dec. 5 for the at-large District 7 post after all. 

Official election results from DeKalb and Fulton counties show Patricia Crayton edged past Wright by 27 votes to snag the second spot in the run-off election. 

Unofficial tallies had Wright up nine votes with all precincts reporting in the early morning hours after the Nov. 7 election.

The twist ending sets up a race between Crayton, who ran a campaign so low key that Atlanta city clerk records show she filed no fundraising reports, and top vote-getter Kandis Wood Jackson, an attorney. 

RELATED: List of Dec. 5 runoff elections in metro Atlanta

Wood Jackson has raised nearly $58,000. Wright, a program manager for the architectural engineering firm AECOM, raised about $56,000. That sum includes a $20,000 loan he made to himself. 

Wright said he waited and waited to hear the certified results from Fulton and DeKalb counties. He said the official results, which are date-stamped by Fulton and DeKalb on Monday, weren’t promptly posted online. 

The City of Atlanta’s website stated that Atlanta election results would be certified at 4:30 p.m. Monday, but Wright said he didn’t receive confirmation from the city until 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

“It’s weird. It’s inconsistent with election policy. These results were supposed to be certified by Monday and posted. They weren’t posted until late [Wednesday],” he said. 

Wright said he thinks Crayton, whose nickname “Granny P” was included on the ballot, benefited from being the first listed on the ballot. 

He said he did not seek a recount because by the time one would have concluded he wouldn’t have many days left to reinvigorate his campaign. 

Instead, he cancelled an event and shelved plans to put out a mailer. 

Crayton could not be reached for comment.

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