The Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration has set the qualifying dates for the March 21 special election, which includes the sheriff’s race and a SPLOST measure for Clayton County Schools.

Candidates who plan to run for sheriff will be able to file qualification papers Monday, January 23 through Thursday, January 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday, January 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Six early voting locations will be open for the special election, according to elections officials.

Voters in the City of Jonesboro will need to vote twice in two different locations. One location will be for the countywide special election, which includes the sheriff’s race and a Clayton County Schools SPLOST. The other location, which will be the community room in the new City Hall, will only be for the mayor’s race to fill the unfinished term of former Mayor Joy B. Day. Councilwomen Pat Sebo-Hand and Donya Sartor are vying for the city’s top seat.

The sheriff’s seat is one of several “constitutional” offices—that is, its duties are outlined by state, not county, law.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office requires each candidate qualifying for sheriff in any county to swear out an affidavit detailing, among other things, the candidate’s residency and job information for the previous six years:

Candidate Filings to Date

Levon Allen, who is former Sheriff Victor Hill’s handpicked successor for the office, filed a Campaign Committee Disclosure Report (CCDR) on January 6. A CCDR shows who gave money to a political candidate’s campaign and to whom the campaign paid out funds. Hill gave Allen $3,000 for the race, according to the CCDR.

Attached to the form is what appears to be a Google search result for jobs in Clayton County.

Other donors include:

  • Jenise Duffy, self-employed Realtor, Riverdale: $150
  • Robert Grady, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Stone Mountain: $200
  • Jonathan Green, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, McDonough: $500
  • Tiffany Russell, teacher, Dekalb Public Schools, Stone Mountain: $250
  • Charles Davis, chaplain, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, Riverdale: $2,000
  • Steve Kreitenberg, self-employed businessman, Lakewood, NJ: $3,000
  • Laurann Parker, self-employed attorney, Roswell: $3,000

While Allen reported $9,100 in donations for the end of 2022, he did not note any campaign expenditures. Earlier this week, a robocall went out, on January 9 at 7:38 p.m., asking people to vote for Allen:

Hi, this is Cynthia calling for Clayton County Sheriff Levon Allen. Sheriff Allen is the newly-appointed sheriff who’s in the running for the special election on March 21, 2023. I’m calling to ask for your support and answer any questions about Sheriff Allen, as well as to provide the link for his webpage. Can we count on you to vote for Sheriff Allen? If so, thank you for your support. Have a great night.

Allen also has ordered that his name be placed on all CCSO patrol vehicles—essentially free campaign advertising that he can have parked at strategic locations and times—and he has taken on Hill’s Nixle page. He also has been featured in a series of social media posts on Hill’s accounts, echoing the same kind of language about busting criminals and handing out Christmas toys to local families.

Other candidates who have filed paperwork include:

  • Carl Cogdell of Jonesboro filed a Declaration of Intent on November 23, 2022 and had previously filed a CCDR on February 7, 2022.
  • Friends of Clarence Cox filed a Declaration of Intent on November 17, 2022 with an Atlanta post office box and e-mails ending in . RTA Strategy is a campaign consulting company run by Rick Thompson, whose bio notes “a laundry list of accomplishments that includes leading Georgia’s Ethics Agency for 5 years, a seat on the Board of the Academic Journal Public Integrity, serving as one of five Commissioners overseeing Georgia’s Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission and conceptualizing the development of a revolutionary e-filing platform….His commitment to creating transparent regulatory systems where candidates, PACs and lobbyists can thrive has helped redefine the reporting industry.”
  • Committee to Elect Terry Evans, of Hampton, filed a Declaration of Intent and a CCDR on December 30, 2022. He reported $265 from Rica Wright of Stockbridge and $395 from Michelle Beck of Dublin in his war chest, and spent $520 on a website and $125 for campaign photos.
  • Fabian for Clayton County Sheriff, which is Dwayne Fabian‘s campaign, filed a Declaration of Intent on December 15, 2022 and a CCDR on December 29, 2022. Fabian reported taking in $1,000 in donations and spending $995.86, leaving his campaign with $4.14 going into 2023. Donors include:
    • Alphonso Rogers, self-employed entrepreneur: $250
    • Phillip Minchew, regional driver, Macon: $250
    • Mike Brown, retired, Cape Canaveral, FL: $250
    • Harold Jenkins, Allstate insurance agent, Savannah: $250
    • Expenses included VistaPrint for campaign cards and an unspecified $142.99 purchase, $29 to Custom Award of Jonesboro for a nameplate, $100 to Kecia Stovall for photos, $173 to Joshua Mayberry of Forest Park (Fabian’s campaign treasurer) for an unspecificed expense, and $350 for Clayton County Chamber of Commerce membership.
  • Edward Hobbs of Jonesboro filed a Declaration of Intent on December 30, 2022.
  • Chris Storey of Hampton filed a Declaration of Intent on December 21, 2022 and a CCDR on January 4, 2023 (the form is dated January 3). Storey declared $16,551.11 in his war chest.
  • Charlene Watson-Fraser of Jonesboro filed an updated Declaration of Intent and a CCDR (with no donations or expenditures listed) on December 28, 2022.

Check out our July 14, 2021 report on Clayton County campaign finance filings.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

Leave a comment