CONYERS -- The seats on the Rockdale County Board of Education are now set.
After one of the five seats that were up for election this year led to a runoff race, Williams "Tony" Dowdy, 51, was elected for the Post 5 seat.
Dowdy received 1,239 votes, or 62.86 percent of the votes, while his opponent Willie Washington, 48, received 732 votes, or 37.14 percent."I'm so excited and feel so honored and privileged," Dowdy said Tuesday after the results. "I know there will be a big learning curve coming up, since this is the first time I've ever done this, but I'm very excited to have this opportunity. I can't wait to jump in there."Dowdy has worked as a concrete sales representative for Ernst Concrete for 23 years and has served as associate vice president of the Rockdale County Home Builders Association for more than 15 years and also is on the Rockdale Rotary Club's board.
He has six children and three grandchildren.
He previously said he hopes to help provide a high quality education to students during these hard economic times.
In the primary election, Dowdy received 6,783 votes, or 45.70 percent, while Washington received 3,350 votes, or 22.57 percent. A candidate had to receive 50 percent plus 1 of the votes to secure a seat.
A little more than 4 percent of voters, or 2,012 voters, turned out for the runoff election, including about 1 percent in early voting. Rockdale Board of Elections supervisor Cynthia Welch had projected a 14 percent turnout, or 6,790 voters, in the runoff, which she has estimated will cost the county about $40,000.
Dowdy will join fellow newcomers Mandy North and Sharon Pharr, who were elected for the Post 1 and Post 4 seats, respectively, in the primary election. They will serve four-year terms beginning in January.
They will join Brad Smith, the incumbent for Post 2 who will retain his seat following the primary. School board Chair Wales Barksdale also retained his Post 3 seat, since he ran unopposed for this election year.
Board members Katrina Young and Jim McBrayer were not up for election this year.