Jason Lary pioneered the effort to create the city of Stonecrest and voters have now made him its first mayor.
In the special election held Tuesday, March 21, Lary won 52.2 percent of the 4,222 total votes cast in the mayoral race, according to results released by the county election office.
Lary, a 30-year resident of the area and head of the Stonecrest YES group that championed cityhood, beat out opponents Charles Hill II and Douglas Favors II, who earned 39.4 and 8.1 percent of votes respectively.
“I am ecstatic about the win and, as I have told citizens, I want to continue working on our collective vision for Stonecrest,” Lary said. “This is not something I thought up on my own, but was four years of listening to people, going to meetings and working with state legislators.”
Two city council positions were also filled, while the rest of the seats will be decided in an April 18 runoff.
Jimmy Clanton Jr. won his council seat for post one with 65.9 percent of the votes, besting opponent Charles Ross.
“I am honored and humbled that voters in district one selected me to represent them on Stonecrest, Georgia's first seated city council,” Clanton wrote in a Facebook post.
Jazzmin Cobble also won in the race for post three against Eric Hubbard, winning with 66.1 percent of the votes.
“We put a lot of hard work into our campaign and I am excited to be rewarded with this great responsibility,” Cobble said. “This means a lot — it means everything — to me. It is so important now to have good leadership from the beginning
The runoff election will include races for post two between Rob Turner and Plez Joyner; post four between Mary Pat-Hector and George Turner Jr.r; and post five between Diane Adoma and Tammy Grimes.
Total voter turnout for the special election was 13 percent of all registered voters, or 4,267 ballots cast. That number was in slightly above the 10 percent voter turnout estimated by Maxine Daniels, director of of county registration and elections.
She said the day was a quiet one with few calls to her office from the precincts.
Almost 60 percent of voters decided to make Stonecrest DeKalb County’s newest city in an election held last November. It has a current population of about 50,000 residents.
The new city will become official May 1 when the elected mayor and fully established council take office.
It will initially take control of code enforcement, zoning and parks and recreation from the county with other services to be potentially added later, such as police.
Lary said some of his top priorities after taking office will be to find a city hall space and working to secure a partnership with DeKalb County, who will provide the bulk of the city’s initial services.
Cobble said she is eager to get busy setting up the fundamentals of the city’s government, from a budget to basic city operations. After that, she said focusing on economic development and working to build a relationship with the county will be two important priorities.
Stonecrest’s footprint covers a large portion of southeast DeKalb, including Stonecrest Mall with Lithonia just to the north, neighboring Rockdale County to the east and Panola Mountain State Park to the south.