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Lorraine Cochran-Johnson, 2023 Elected Official of the Year, Runs for DeKalb County CEO [VIDEO]

DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson of Super District 7 in the Atlanta metropolitan area is heralded for her positive initiatives in economic development, education, public safety and homeownership. Following the statewide Georgia primary in which Cochran-Johnson finished as the front-runner with 46 percent of the vote, the popular elected exec has moved into a runoff race on June 18, 2024 to become DeKalb County Georgia’s first elected Black-woman county CEO in Georgia history.  face former county Commissioner Larry Johnson in the June 18 run-off for DeKalb County CEO.

Three states — Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana — require runoff elections in a general election whe n no candidate receives a majority of the vote. In every other state, a candidate can win a general election with a plurality of the vote.

Cochran Johnson who was featured in a New York Times article for her winning efforts to mitigate crime and abate nuisances surrounding single box development stores in the county. She is also the author of a local law that stopped the proliferation of dollar stores in the expansive county she represents, which led to mandatory distance requirements between stores, better lighting, improved security features, and healthy food options. “I am proud to see DeKalb County receive national attention as a progressive thinker on the forefront of developing legislation that creates the best outcome for communities when faced with known consequences of adverse development,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “I also want it to be known that I am a dollar store shopper. My only concern is ensuring retailers of any type do not have a harmful effect on our communities.”

Along with honors as a Champion for Housing Community Development Award winner she was named the 2023 Elected Official of the Year by American Public Works Association.

She was lauded at the annual Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc. (Georgia ACT) 2023 for her active commitment to developing communities that can build their capacity with adequate capital and bring about the change needed to address affordable housing challenges.

As impressive as the litany of accolades for Cochran-Johnson’s work in bricks-and-mortar improvements, as Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, she earned recognition for her outstanding fiscal accountability which resulted in $92 million-plus in revenue savings to DeKalb County taxpayers.

Ahead of the June 18 primary election, Cochran-Johnson released this message:

“I was once told the four most important words in the American vocabulary is, “The people have spoken.” On Tuesday, DeKalb residents spoke loud and clear. You voted for change and a new direction. When you spoke, I received slightly over 46 percent of the vote and carried the majority vote in 156 out of 191 precincts. We are poised for victory and a new day in DeKalb, however we did not reach the 50 percent threshold needed for an outright victory, so we must return to the polls on June 18 to finish what we started.

As the junior candidate in the race, many politicos were shocked by the high number of votes I received, but the truth is I have simply outworked my opponents and your vote reflects my effort. My race proved endorsements nor money control election outcomes – people do.

After her landslide win over her opponent in her initial race to serve residents of the county, Cochran-Johnson is stepping up to advance the quality of living for all members of this important region.

In the last decade, Georgia’s population has grown by 18 percent, and 32 percent of its 10 million plus residents are African American with approximately 6 million residents in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The state has also gained about 13,500 more likely Democratic voters than Republican voters since the last presidential election, as the population continues to grow.

“It is time elected officials focus on the good of people. I am a bridge builder and I get things done,” Cochran-Johnson explains.

“We have become too accustomed to the status quo … we’ve been conditioned to accept ‘good enough.’ We have too many great people, too many resources, and too much talent in this county for that to be the way,” she concludes.