Three DeKalb commissioners in the running to become next county CEO

Democratic candidates for DeKalb CEO appear at the 204 Atlanta Press Club Debates.

Three current and former DeKalb County Commissioners are all in the race to replace outgoing DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, who is term-limited.

Commissioner Steve Bradshaw represents District 4, which runs from Avondale Estates to Clarkston to Stone Mountain Park. He has served since 2017.

Former Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson served from 2019 until this March, when she qualified to run for DeKalb CEO. She represented Super District 7, which covers the eastern part of the county.

Of the candidates, former Commissioner Larry Johnson has served the longest, first taking office in 2003. The current District 3, which he serves, includes Candler Park and East Lake and then runs down to Southwest DeKalb.

During his State of the County address, Thurmond spoke highly of the candidates running for his position.

“I served and have served with three of them. DeKalb County your blessed. You got three exceptional people of high integrity, extremely talented and prepared to take the mantle of this job on January 1.”

During an Atlanta Press Club debate in April, Bradshaw argued the delivery of government services in the county needs improvement.

“I’m going to embark upon a massive program of retraining our folks in the ways and means of customer service so that the people who are paying for this government, when they interface with this government, it is professional, it is helpful, it is timely and people feel like their problems have been addressed.”

Johnson says he would create an Office of Violence Prevention.

“I will work with our partners at CDC, as well as our local HOAs, our service providers and, and really help to uplift and connect the dots to make those things happen.”

And when Cochran-Johnson was asked about creating affordable housing for senior, she stated the following:

“You can depend on me to issue public private partnerships because in order to combat the issues that we’re seeing, we will need to be strategic in bringing developers to the table, so that we are able to create much needed and valuable senior housing.”

If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will go to a June 18 runoff.

There is no Republican candidate, so the Democratic primary will decide who takes office Jan. 1, 2025.