School Board Incumbent Paul Womack Set for Runoff

Womack received less than 50% in Tuesday's primary.

Three contenders were vying to unseat District 4 incumbent Paul Womack in Tuesday's election for the DeKalb County Board of Education, but it looks like a runoff in three weeks will decide the issue.

Womack, who was first elected in 1981, received 6,705 votes and 46.60% percent, compared to his closest challenger Jim McMahan, who received 4,019 votes.

All 189 precincts have reported, and early, in-person votes have also been counted. The Board of Elections has started the process of counting more than 5,000 absentee-by-mail ballots.

Speaking to Patch after the results came in, Womack said, "Well, there's going to be a runoff. On the whole, people sort of voted for 'out with the old, in with the new'." 

He also faced challenges from Tom Gilbert and Jim Kinney.

Gilbert is a Home Depot employee with two grandchildren in the county system, and Kinney is a Linux Systems Engineer for IBM Security Solutions with a long history of involvement in DeKalb's schools. 

McMahan, a mortgage loan specialist who has children at Henderson Middle and Sagamore Elementary, also spoke to Patch after hearing the results. "Today, more than half of the voters in our district voted against a dismal status quo on the DeKalb School Board that has been failing our students, our teachers and all taxpayers," he said. "In three weeks, I look forward to giving all voters a voice to restore our school system to greatness and smart fiscal management."

Jim Kinney August 20, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Based on my conversations with Paul Womack after candidate forums and away from the public, I see Womack as a local tea-party candidate who is working to scrap the public school systems on tax cut at a time. He gave no indication of having any concern for the education process, the quality of teachers, staff or textbooks, or any other aspect of the schools outside of the budget that he wants to slash. He's played the District 4 republicans like a cheap fiddle and they are still foaming at the mouth for more of him. The money-bags behind him must have all of their kids in private school and all of their workers in China. His call for a "criminal investigation" was perfectly timed to catch maximum election coverage. Of course Paul was the budget chair during the time of the "criminal activity" he's shedding crocodile tears over now. He abdicated his elected duty at that time and does not deserve another chance to further the damage. Tomorrow, I will proudly cast my vote for Jim McMahan. Adequate is NOT enough!
Don Broussard August 21, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Cassie, how do you know what the "initial deal" was? You are making up a story for which you have no facts or sources to back up. You leave out that Womack and the board also re-negotiated down Crawford's original sweetheart contract eliminating any "gold parachute" bonus if Lewis left. Compare that to what Supt. Johnny Brown got when he was let go ($250,000). I've checked the DCSS records -- have you?
Jim Kinney August 21, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Maybe a new board will include an "indicted = fired" clause in the next contract. Terminate the superintendent beginning the day of the infraction in the indictment and claw back the paychecks since then.
Don Broussard August 21, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Jim, I share your opposition to the tea party -- and Paul Womack is no tea bagger. Paul's late parents were both educators in rural Georgia and he is committed to public schools. Womack's calls for criminal investigation of the School Administrative Staff under the Superintendent were absolutely CORRECT as confirmed by the recent audit showing $34 Million in overspending! If the School Staff deliberately hides the spending from Womack -- how is that his fault? You seem profoundly naive about how the school system works (and fails) and about the divisions going on in DCSS -- which is why 89% of the people voted for someone other than you three weeks ago. McMahon's background (no college degree) as a futures trader and a mortgage broker -- the professions that just blew up our economy -- really portends well for our school system. But go ahead and vote for him.
Jim Kinney August 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM
When a person who is supposed to be making decisions about resource allocations for public schools keeps repeating the mantra "cut taxes" as the prime reason they think pepople should vote for them, they sound like typical tea-partiers. DCSS have never had the financial resources to do an adequate job much less a great job. The idea of decreasing school resources to score political points with the tea-party supporters is action I find repugnant. BTW: My 1700 votes was pretty good for a totally unknown candidate who spent less than $800. You know who I am!


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