The race for District 6 on the Bibb County school board is still headed for a runoff, based on Georgia election law.
Candidate Bob Easter, who picked up 48.54 percent of the vote in the original election May 24, was originally set to face incumbent Jason Downey, who garnered 39.44 percent, in the July runoff election. Downey withdrew last week, but according to Georgia code, that draws Valerie Wynn, who won just 11.85 percent of the initial vote, back into contention.
“If any candidate eligible to be in a runoff withdraws, dies or is found to be ineligible, the remaining candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be the candidates in such runoff,” state law reads.
Maybe it’s going to be my Atlanta Braves season from 1991, from worst to first.
Valerie Wynn, candidate for District 6 seat on Bibb County school board
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Mike Kaplan, vice chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections, confirmed that the District 6 school board runoff is scheduled for July 26. He said the board originally was unsure of the ramifications of Downey’s withdrawal, but became aware of the procedure outlined by Georgia law after a meeting last Friday.
“As it stands right now, there is a runoff between Bob Easter and Valerie Wynn,” Kaplan said.
He also noted that all candidates had been made aware of the need for a runoff, including Downey, who officially filed his withdrawal paperwork earlier this week.
Wynn said she is still considering whether to actively campaign for the seat and said she will make a decision “pretty soon” about the race.
“Maybe it’s going to be my Atlanta Braves season from 1991, from worst to first,” she said, describing herself as the “Macon-born girl” among the candidates.
Among her concerns about continuing to run were voter turnout and the cost of having polls open for voters in such an election. But Wynn also said it isn’t the “American way” for a candidate to take a post without ever winning support from a majority of voters.
“I want the position, but you know, I was also third place in the race, and I didn’t garner a lot of votes,” she said.
Easter, who might have seemed like the clear winner after Downey dropped out, said he is prepared to press on with the race until voters head to the polls again next month.
“That’s the process, and we’ll just keep running a vigorous campaign,” Easter said.
He said he expects Wynn will continue running, as well. Easter originally ran on the notion that change was needed in Bibb County schools, and he still thinks that is the route to take if he wants to fill the post Downey has held for the past four years.
“The same issues that resonated with voters are the ones to stay with,” Easter said.