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Mayor races in Covington, Oxford top elections
voting day

COVINGTON, Ga. — A two-way challenge to Mayor Ronnie Johnston’s reelection bid tops the city election Tuesday.

Voters also get to weigh in on two questions about drinking in the city.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters will go to a new location, the old city Planning & Zoning Department building at 2116 Stallings St. NW, due to renovations at City Hall.

Opposing Johnston are Steve Horton and the Rev. Eric Threets.

Horton is a former city manager of Covington. In fact, he served in the role for the first two years Johnston was mayor before retiring in 2013. He previously served as the city’s assistant city manager, public works director and police chief in a career spanning about 35 years.

In an interview this week, Horton said he’s been focused on the concerns of citizens.

“They’re worried about crime in the neighborhoods where they live,” he said. “We’ve got this BD Bard air issue, and that’s got a lot of people on edge. I talked about controlling tax and utility costs. A lot of people from all walks of life have concerns about costs.”

Horton said he plans to work with the Georgia Department of Transportation on traffic issues in and around the city, noting that congestion affects more than just the city limits.

Horton said he’s satisfied no matter what happens at the polls Tuesday.

“It’s been a long road and we’ve worked hard,” he said. “We tried to go to every door in town and talk to folks. We prayed about this thing to start with. We know we’ll be OK with the outcome either way.”

Johnston said he’s had two goals as mayor: giving people an opportunity to achieve their desired quality of life, and to eradicate poverty.

“When you look at those kind of areas, I’m pretty proud of what we’ve done the last eight years,” he said Friday morning. “To me, the other thing, I speak quite often, this town is much more diverse than it used to be, much more welcoming to the world. I’ve caught a lot of flak for that to some extent.

“These next four years are crucial. I think this is a real crucial election for the little city of Covington.”

Threets is a physical therapist and has experience in health care administration. He later was called into the ministry and is a volunteer chaplain at Piedmont Newton Hospital. He also has served as an executive officer with the Newton County NAACP and a businessman.

Threets said he thinks voters are ready for a change.

“They are tired of increasing taxes, inflated utility bills and the overwhelming disappointment of feeling misrepresented, overlooked and disconnected,” he said.

“I am the candidate in the unique position to understand and connect all demographics.”

Three City Council seats are up for election as well, although only two are opposed.

In Post 2, East Ward, Fleeta Baggett faces off against Steve Plitt. The winner will succeed Councilman Michael Whatley, who has served since 2000.

In Post 3, East Ward, Councilman Josh McKelvey seeks a second term. Opposing him is retired Covington fire Chief Don T. Floyd.

In Post 1, West Ward, Councilman Kenneth L. Morgan is unopposed in seeking a second term.

Two alcohol questions are on the ballot.

Voters will decide on the “brunch bill,” which will give the city the authority to allow sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages by the drink between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

A nonbinding referendum would advise city leaders on the public’s thoughts on regulated alcohol consumption in the downtown district, and at Legion Field.


No elections are needed in Mansfield, as the three seats up for election each drew just one candidate.

G.W. Davis Jr. was elected by acclimation to a full term as mayor. He had been serving since May after the resignation of Mayor Jefferson Davis.

Council members Perry Charles Lunsford (Post 1) and Helen Robertson (Post 2) were reelected without opposition.


Two incumbents were reelected without opposition this year to the Newborn City Council.

Rob Bratton in Post 1 and Tom Krieger in Post 2 will return to the town’s government.


Two men who served together on the City Council square off in the Oxford mayor’s race.

David S. Eady faces Michael Ready on Tuesday; the winner will succeed three-term Mayor Jerry D. Roseberry.

Eady resigned his Post 4 council seat to run for mayor; Ready has been able to remain in the Post 3 seat, as it is expiring, and he serves as mayor pro tem.

Councilman George R. Holt is unopposed in Post 2. Two newcomers are unopposed as well: Lynn Branham Bohanan in Post 1 and Laura McCanless in Post 3.

Voting will be from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Hall Community Room at 110 W. Clark St.


Mayor Arline Chapman earned a new term when she drew no opposition.

Only one council seat is challenged: Councilwoman Terry Gray drew opposition from Angela “Niki” Wescott for the Post 1 seat.

Councilwoman Linda Finger was unopposed in Post 2.

Voting is at City Hall, 2800 Main St.

Social Circle

Social Circle has a hotly contested mayor’s race, with Hal W. Dally seeking a third term against longtime Councilman David L. Keener.

Keener, who served as the mayor pro tem, resigned his District 3 City Council seat in August to qualify for election against Dally.

One seat on the City Council is contested, in District 4. Councilman Joseph S. “Steve” Shelton, a former director of public safety in the city, faces challenges from Ann M. Overbeck and John J. “Jay” Perpall IV.

Councilman Tyson Jackson is unopposed in District 2. The District 3 seat will be filled in a special election in early 2020.

Two seats on the city’s Board of Education also are up for election.

In District 1, incumbent Tonia Lumpkin drew a challenge from Atlee O’Conor Jr.

In District 3, retired teacher Stephen Lee Trantham is challenging Patrick Dally, who was appointed to a vacancy on the board two years ago.

Voting will take place in the Community Room at 138 E. Hightower Trail.