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Published on June 19, 2024
Lorraine Cochran-Johnson Breaks Barrier as First African American Woman Elected DeKalb County CEOSource: DeKalb County

Lorraine Cochran-Johnson has made history as the first African American woman elected to the position of DeKalb County CEO, emerging victorious in a crucial runoff election against former colleague Larry Johnson, a win confirmed by nearly 60% of the vote according to a report from Atlanta News First.

The election, which took place on Tuesday, saw Cochran-Johnson leading with 61% of the vote with 59% of precincts reporting which only a short while later tallied up to a decisive 60% as all precincts weighed in, signaling a clear mandate from the electorate for her agenda and leadership, the results being tracked live by FOX 5 Atlanta.

In the runoff's aftermath, Cochran-Johnson, who previously served on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, articulated an ambition for DeKalb County that zeroes in on issues like economic development and equity, especially in the south and unincorporated areas of the county, expressing in a statement "I’m most excited about focuses on economic development because if you look across DeKalb, there’s a lack of equity in certain areas," as reported by Atlanta News First.

This electoral race witnessed both candidates championing their dedication to the county in a debate that was streamed and televised ahead of the runoff, during which Cochran-Johnson stood out, not just as a candidate with a comprehensive platform focused on consequential issues such as the housing crisis, gun violence, youth empowerment, and support for small businesses but also as a figure ready to build on the legacy of her predecessor Michael Thurmond, this narrative of commitment to public service running like a seam through the descriptions of her campaign provided by FOX 5 Atlanta.

As she takes the reins, continuing a storied political trajectory in Georgia, Cochran-Johnson not only shatters a glass ceiling but also shoulders the responsibilities of an office that oversees the implementation of balanced budgets, infrastructural improvements, and employment programs, a reflection of her experience and the expectations of the DeKalb electorate found explicitly laid out in the reports from FOX 5 Atlanta and Atlanta News First.