The City of Jonesboro’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade saw politicians asking for votes, kids peeking through a telephoto lens, riding a horse, and stuffing their pockets with candy, and the Majestic Marching Cardinals of Jonesboro High School.
The event always brings out elected officials and those seeking office. Among those marching today were Jonesboro City Councilmembers Pat Sebo-Hand and Dr. Donya Sartor, who are running against each other to fill Mayor Joy Day’s remaining term; Chief Magistrate Judge Keisha Wright Hill; Superior Court Judge Jewel Scott; District Attorney Tasha Mosley; Chairman Jeff Turner; District 1 Commissioner Dr. Alieka Anderson; Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler; State Rep. Rhonda Burnough (D-77); State Sen. Valencia Seay; and several candidates for Clayton County sheriff. Qualifying starts next week.
Clarence Cox, a candidate for Clayton County sheriff, held a food giveaway across from Lee Street Park, loading up all four buses of Jonesboro High School band members with boxes of groceries.
Cox said, “As you know, I had a lot of time in the Clayton County Schools as chief, and I developed some relationships with these young folks, and they’re our future, so we’ve gotta take care of them, gotta nourish them.”
Sheriff Levon Allen, who was appointed after Victor Hill’s federal conviction, was working the crowd, with the help of campaign workers and a fleet of slow-moving county cars that recently had had Hill’s name removed and Allen’s added.
Charlene Watson-Frasier, Chris Storey, Terry Evans, and Dwayne Fabian also worked the crowds, seeking their votes for sheriff.
Fabian called Allen’s use of county vehicles bearing his name “a misuse of taxpayers’ dollars…using the county people to campaign. I mean, haven’t we been through this once before with the last administration, with the names on the cars? In my opinion, the name should not be on the cars. It should just be a regular county car and that’s it.” He added that, if Allen lost the March 21 election, “we’re going to have to pay to take all the names off of all the cars.”
Watson-Frasier told The Clayton Crescent that, as the only woman in the sheriff’s race, she had caught some people by surprise.
For the fourth year in a row, brothers Alfred and Cam Dixon held a “Dreams and Ice Cream” celebration at the Jonesboro Dairy Queen for local kids. Cam Dixon estimated about 75 kids turned out for the first DQ event since COVID-19.
During the pandemic, “We did it at the Keystone Apartments, we brought the ice cream to them, so it’s good to be back here at Dairy Queen this year right after the parade. Walmart partnered with us. It’s a beautiful partnership. They’ve been able to supply school supplies, swag bags, a couple of other different things.”
Check out some of the sights and faces at today’s parade. All photos by Robin Kemp/The Clayton Crescent: