Jason Lary arose the day after the election, on his birthday, with the best present ever: Voters elected him as the first mayor of the new city of Stonecrest, giving him 52.20 percent of the vote (2,200).
Lary, who turned 55 on March 22, galloped to victory in a three-way race, defeating Charles Hill and Doug Favors. Hill placed second, earning 39.4 percent (1,664 votes) while Favors came in third with 8.10 percent (342).
Lary thanked his wife, Debra, for standing by him “through all of the sleepless nights.” He also thanked supporters for their dedication and hard work. A crowd gathered for his victory celebration, which was held at Arizona’s restaurant in Stonecrest.
Lary said he did not hear from his opponents to congratulate him.
The mayor’s race turned ugly just days before the election after postcards were mailed to Stonecrest residents suggesting Charles Hill had mental health issues. Hill, who came in second in the mayor’s race, found himself in the media spotlight refuting the mailer. His doctor confirmed that he does not have any mental health issues during a news conference, which was held on Monday. Lary said he had nothing to do with the mailer.
Lary said he would be sworn in as mayor once results are certified on March 27 by the DeKalb Board of Elections. Elections director Maxine Daniels said provisional ballots would be counted but she did not expect a significant change in the votes.
Lary said a public swearing-in ceremony for him, Jimmy Clanton, who was elected for the District 1 City Council seat, and Jazzmin Cobble, who was elected for District 3, is being planned for later and details will be forthcoming.
He said the location of City Hall has not yet been determined but several sites are under consideration. A temporary site, he said, will probably be used for about six months.
Meanwhile, Stonecrest candidates running for District 2, 4 and 5 City Council seats are headed for runoffs. The runoff elections will be held on April 18. The candidates need 50 plus one to win.
Runoffs: Rob Turner will face Plez Joyner in District 2; George Turner will face Mary-Pat Hector in District 4 and Diane Adoma will face Tammy Grimes in District 5.
Here’s a look at how the races stacked up (unofficial numbers, which must be certified):
City of Stonecrest Elections, All Races, All 16 Precincts
Ballots Cast 4,267 (13 percent)
Registered Voters 32,831
Unofficial and Incomplete
Jason Lary 2,204 (52.20)
Charles Hill 1,664 (39.41 percent)
Doug Favors 342 (8.10 percent)
Jimmy Clanton 314 (65.97)
Charles Ross 156 (32.77 percent)
Rob Turner 184 (31.08 percent)
Plez Joyner 179 (30.24)
Alexis .Morris 150 (25.34 percent)
Gretchen Torbet 75 (12.67 percent)
Jazzmin Cobble 387 (66.15 percent)
Eric Hubbard 196 (33.50 percent)
George Turner 569 (37.98 [percent)
Mary-Pat Hector 439 (29.31 percent)
Geraldine Champion 118 (7.88 percent)
Jay Cunningham 187 (12.48 percent)
Jonathan Phillips 183 (12.22 percent)
Diane Adoma 511 (48.21 percent)
Tammy Grimes 427 (40.28 percent)
Lloyd Morrison 55 (5.19 percent)
Richard Stone 60 (0.66 percent)