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Democrats in five-way battle for new commission seat
by Noreen Cochran
May 06, 2014 12:16 PM | 2160 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The next Fulton County commissioner from District 5 will be a Democrat, as there are no Republicans in the primary, which will go to a runoff July 22 if no one candidate gets 50 percent plus one vote May 20.

The candidates in the five-way field are Marvin S. Arrington Jr., Dell Byrd, Johnnie Gordon, Brenda J. Muhammad and Kwame Thompson, all residents of Atlanta.

Arrington, 42, is an attorney.
He graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and earned his law degree in 1996 from Emory University.
Arrington is married with four children.
His previous political experience is a 2012 run for District 62 in the state House of Representatives.
Arrington’s top three issues are reducing crime, fixing county infrastructure and buildings, and increasing arts and recreation opportunities for seniors and youth.
He said he is the best person for the job because of his experience as a husband, father, attorney and community servant.
“I want to leverage my experience for the benefit of the citizens of Fulton County,” he said. “I am not afraid to stand up for what is right and to speak out against things that are wrong.”

Byrd, 59, is a self-employed property manager.
She earned a bachelor of business administration in 1982 from Georgia State University, a master of arts in 2002 from Central Michigan University’s Atlanta campus and a doctorate in education in 2007 from Georgia Southern University.
Byrd is married with one child.
Her political experience is a run for the Atlanta school board in 2013.
Byrd’s top three issues are restoring cut county services, reducing crime and promoting economic development.
She said she is the best person for the job because of her experience in management and in education in south Fulton high schools.
“I am a concerned citizen with a vested interest in the district in which I live, shop, work and worship,” Byrd said. “I am perfectly poised to serve as Fulton County commissioner in the new District 5.”

Gordon, a regional program manager for county vendor Tyler Technologies of Plano, Texas, turns 46 on Thursday.
From the online Capella University in 2011, he earned a bachelor of science degree in business with a specialization in project management.
Gordon is married with three children.
This is his first run for political office.
Gordon’s top three issues are reducing crime, caring for seniors and youth, and promoting economic development.
He said he is the best person for the job because of his military and civilian experience in leadership, planning and team building.
“I’ve excelled in some of the most challenging environments,” Gordon said. “I’ve worked with the various courts and justice organizations throughout the state of Georgia. By leveraging my technical expertise and unique ability to synergize people, I bring fresh ideas and innovation to Fulton County’s future.”

Muhammad, 63, is the executive director of the nonprofit Atlanta Victim Assistance.
She earned bachelor and master degrees from Southern New Hampshire University in 2003 in community economic development with a focus on economic development.
Muhammad is widowed, the mother of three children and grandmother of 10.
Her political experience is 16 years on the Atlanta school board.
Muhammad said her top three issues are fiscal responsibility, health and human services, and economic development.
She said she is the best person for the job because she is a proven leader who will help taxpayers get quality county services.
“I choose to serve because it allows me to stand up for people who are disenfranchised, who are victimized, who are silenced,” Muhammad said. “I’ve got a big voice and I use it to speak out for the underdogs of society.”

Thompson, 40, is an attorney.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri in 1995 and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. in 1999.
Thompson is single with no children.
His political experience is a run for mayor of University City, Mo., 18 years ago.
Thompson’s top three issues are the Braves’ move from the new District 5 to Cobb County, the revitalization of the Turner Field neighborhoods of Summerhill, Peoplestown and Mechanicsville, and reducing crime.
He said he is the best person for the job because he has experience in the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government.
“I am currently a community servant,” Thompson said. “In addition, I’m on the board of the Mechanicsville Civic Association and I’m an adjunct instructor at Atlanta Technical College.”

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