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Races taking shape for county, state seats representing Newton
Local commissioners could face opposition in May primary
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COVINGTON, Ga. — Numerous county and state legislative races are forming with only weeks to go before the qualifying period begins in March. 

Both Newton County commissioners whose seats are up for election this year likely will face challengers from their own Democratic Party in the May primary and face a Republican in the November general election.

In addition, county voters will be voting for candidates in any of three Georgia House districts and two state Senate districts which were redrawn to include Newton County as part of the statewide redistricting in response to population shifts found in the 2020 federal census.

Qualifying for county and state races is set for March 7-11.


First-term Commissioner Demond Mason has announced his intention to seek reelection. 

He likely will face a challenge for the Democratic nomination from at least one of his 2018 opponents for the seat.

Steven Rhodes, a former county Recreation Commission member, confirmed he is planning to challenge Mason for the Democratic nomination after narrowly missing a runoff against him in 2018.

Mason received 38% of the vote in the 2018 Democratic primary followed by former commissioner Earnest L. Simmons with 23.98% — which earned Simmons a spot in a runoff after receiving 0.55% more than Rhodes who received 23.43%. 

Mason then easily defeated Simmons in a runoff election before winning the general election.

Simmons did not return a call for comment on whether he planned to challenge Mason for the seat representing southwest Newton County.

The winner of the District 2 Democratic Primary election also could face a Republican opponent in November. 

Clay Ivey, a longtime Conyers police officer, has begun actively campaigning for the GOP nomination.

Ivey is a lifelong resident of the Salem Road area who lost the Republican nomination for Newton County sheriff to Ken Malcom in 2020.

District 2 was reconfigured as part of the General Assembly’s changes to Newton County’s commissioner and school board districts in response to 2020 census data. 

The district added some area from District 3 that is north of Brown Bridge Road and includes areas in the Wisteria community; and lost a section between highways 162 and 81 to District 1.


Incumbent J.C. Henderson will seek a seventh term on the Board of Commissioners and is, by far, the longest-serving commissioner.

Covington youth pastor Willie B. Jackson said he plans to challenge Henderson for the Democratic nomination for the seat. He is a retired mechanic and owned Jackson Automotive. 

The Democratic nominee will face a Republican opponent in November, with Scotty Scoggins the only announced candidate in the GOP primary so far.

Scoggins ran for election to the Covington City Council in 2021 but lost to Charika Davis for West Ward Post 2.

District 4 also was reconfigured as part of the General Assembly’s changes to Newton County’s commissioner and school board districts in response to 2020 census data. 

The district now includes all of the city of Porterdale and the Springhill area along Lower River Road near the county landfill and no longer includes the city of Oxford.


Incumbent Trey Bailey, a Republican, recently announced his intention to run for reelection to a second full term.

Bailey, who is executive pastor at Eastridge Church, was appointed by the school board in March 2016 to serve the remainder of Stan Edwards’ term after Edwards resigned to run for the Board of Commissioners District 1 seat. Bailey was elected for his first full term in November 2018.


House District 93 was created as part of the legislative redistricting and includes parts of Newton, Rockdale and south DeKalb counties.

District 92 State Rep. Doreen Carter, D-Lithonia, is the incumbent living in the district and has indicated she will seek election to a fourth term in the House in the new District 93 seat.

Carter, an accountant, owns a financial education company. She is a former Lithonia City Council member and was the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in 2014. She was elected in 2015 to the District 92 House seat.


Incumbent State Rep. Sharon Henderson, D-Covington, is a pastor and retired banker and the only Newton County resident in the General Assembly. 

She will seek reelection to a second term and has made constituent service a major part of her work in the Legislature.

She likely will face a challenge in the Democratic primary from fellow Newton County resident Billie Boyd-Cox, a real estate agent and pastor.

The district formerly included parts of Rockdale and Newton counties but was changed to include only part of Newton County during the legislative redistricting. 


Former Newton County commissioner Tim Fleming of Covington recently announced he launched a campaign for the new District 114 seat. 

Fleming is the former chief of staff for Gov. Brian Kemp and left the Kemp Administration in September 2020 to enter the private sector. He also served on the Newton County Board of Commissioners, representing District 5, from 2009-2013.

He follows Wendell McNeal, a Morgan County businessman, in announcing he will seek the Republican nomination for District 114, which is comprised of all of Morgan and parts of Newton and Jasper Counties. 

The incumbent living in the new district, State Rep. Dave Belton, R-Buckhead, is not seeking reelection.


Incumbent State Sen. Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, is seeking a third term in the state Senate.

Strickland is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and vice chairman of the Higher Education Committee.

Morgan County businessman Brett Mauldin also will seek the Republican nomination for the seat, which represents much of Newton County and parts of Morgan, Henry and Walton counties.


Incumbent State Sen. Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia, will seek a fourth term in the Senate if she runs this year.

She is a former mayor of Lithonia and state House member who first won election to the Senate in 2016.

She is chairperson of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and secretary of the Senate Special Judiciary Committee.