How do you choose which candidate gets your vote?

Too often, Clayton residents find themselves electing candidates routinely described as the “best of the worst” out of the choices provided. Recently, a blogger asked how to determine who the “wrong” candidates are. So, I’m asking folks to share how you choose candidate(s), and where you get information on them.

One resource is Project Vote Smart, which is a wealth of information providing, among many other things, contact information, candidate biographies and voting records. For non-voting positions, consider what that person has/hasn’t done for constitutents and the community. I also speak with other residents for perspectives I may not have considered or known about.

This is harder to do when unknown candidates run. In this case, I’ll research their history as much as possible, particularly what they have done in the community lately.  Whether new to politics or an incumbent, I’ll also attempt to speak directly with a candidate(s) – particularly serial candidates who constantly run for office but never seem to get elected - to gauge their position on issues.

While I’m sure there is some study out there that predicts otherwise, signage and holiday telephone messages do nothing to appease this voter. I’m also leery of candidates who make it difficult for constituents to obtain information about them except solely via outlets they handpick.

I also attend as many forums as possible where constituents have a chance to meet candidates and find out where they stand on issues.

What resources do you use to research candidates? Does signage (billboards, roadside signs, etc.), websites, television and/or radio commercials provide you with enough information to base a vote on? Do you check to see who is funding candidate(s) and/or how they are connected to each other? Do you pay attention to elections going on countywide, even if you can’t vote in that race(s)?

Upcoming political forums include:

June 1 @ 7 PM: NAACP Political Forum for School Board Candidates at Lakewin Christian Center (6449 Church Street, Riverdale).

June 15 @ 6 PM: NAACP Political Forum for State Senate/House of Representative Candidates at Travelers Rest Missionary Baptist Church (2112 Rex Road, Rex)

Please feel free to post anytime if you know of anywhere residents can engage candidates so that we all have an opportunity to get informed, or email me at with info.  Thanks!

74 comments Add your comment


June 5th, 2010
8:54 am

truth seeker… back again? its prosecute not persecute you section 8 loser. and dont let anybody forget about the 57+ illegal meetings and the plutocrats and elite……bigot


June 5th, 2010
5:35 pm

If the elected officials can’t clean up this mess in Clayton County of what they’ve allowed to come in to cause this misfit of living, it is heading all the way to the dump. I don’t care what color he or she is in July 20th, I’m voting for the person who will place this County back on the right track. I am African-American so it doesn’t matter. It is about electing the person to do the right thing for Clayton County. I’m very disturbed by all the crimes, high Section 8 and low income renters, for it is time to do the right thing and that is to VOTE JULY 20th for the candidates that will help clean up this mess.


June 6th, 2010
11:57 am

Anytime a potential/actual politician shows up in your church during an election cycle; that politician is not worthy of your vote! Incumbents with “Big” Billboards Signs” already are “Funded” the rich elite; and they haven’t done anything for you lately, and are not worthy of your vote! VoteSmart!

Sick of it all!

June 6th, 2010
12:19 pm

“The only events that can truly turn Clayton County around is the removal of the majority population of Section 8 renters and the return of families and people of middle-to-high socioeconomic means, the closing up and tearing down of all of the run down trailor and mobile home parks and low end retail and “bootleg” businesses that line Tara Boulevard and replacing them with new, modern, upscale businesses, and the thinning down of the overpopulated numbers of people in Clayton County”.

Amen. I’ll vote for the candidates that are willing to do that. Sadly, I wonder if there are any.

Big Papi

June 6th, 2010
5:07 pm

Could it be possible that the remaining rec ctrs have not been built because SPLOST collections are down in this terrible economy ? While the centers would be a desirable addition to the community they do not magically vanquish crime and juvenile mayhem. They can not make up for poor or no parenting. After these temples are built are they the type places that you would really want your kids to spend time at, or are they quickly co-opted by the baggy pants, gangsta crowd? Does mf, g-d, and nig#* echo off the walls like music at Spivey Hall? Just thinking…..No rec ctrs, no peace! NO SCOTTs or hill either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


June 6th, 2010
6:30 pm

It’s a “SAD” situation when the elite want to uproot the downtrotten after actually “Creating” the very conditions that made them downtrotten in the first place. Spread the wealthy–you “Greedy folks!

@ Sick of it all

June 7th, 2010
2:35 am

How can you get rid of section 8? How in the world would you attract “upscale business”. The few remaining “upscale” business are leaving the county! Section 8 is a federal program. The problem is with the homeowners who place the property on the section 8 program. What low income family would not jump at the opportunity to live in a home in a mixed income neighborhood? Every county in metro Atlanta has section 8 residents. So what’s wrong with Clayton County? LEADERSHIP!!! Our elected leaders are without vision, have no idea about what public service is about and seem to only be self serving egomaniacs. Now look at who we have to chose from. Is there anyone out there who has proven themselves to earn our votes? I say no. One candidate offers promise and prosperity. I want to know how, why and where and when is this “prosperity” supposed to affect? Clayton County is a sesspool because good citizens are reluctant to jump in the political arena. Why would they? the pay sucks, the public ridicule you and bloggers slam everything you do. Clayton County gets what it deserves and we seem to like the results because although we are in dire straits, we continue to see record low turnouts at the polls. So here is my suggestion, get off the blog and go help a candidate that is worthy of your vote.

Sgt Rock

June 7th, 2010
6:48 am

According to CC BoC Agenda for Tuesday nights meeting at 7 PM, the Board is considering the re-appointment of Ericka Davis to the Clayton County Service Board. ITEM 16

Ms. Davis is one of the Poster Children for all that is wrong in this County. She resigned as Chairman of the Board of Education on April 2, 2008 ONLY AFTER a Clayton County Grand Jury considered indictments against her and the other members for MALFEASANCE.

This is the same Ericka Davis, while chairing the Board of Education, that ramrodded Ms. Barbara Pulliam into Clayton County. Ms Pulliam then hired unqualified relatives and friends to positions within the school administration leading the way to loss of accreditation.


So here we are, her term expires on 30 June from the Service Board which she has held for the past three years and our Commissioners are even considering her nomination let alone a vote of YEA?

This has to be the height of hypocrisy. It’s almost a no-brainer but yet again the Commission is considering snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in this unbelievable move and blatant slap in the face of the Citizens of Clayton County.

Commissioners, for once have a little self respect and decency.


June 7th, 2010
4:49 pm

To “Sick of it all” above,

Section 8 is one of the primary problems CC has. True every county has them…to a certain extent. Clayton county has the highest proportion in the entire metro area. An estimated 15-20% of our residents are in publically subsidized housing here in CC. Compare this to a microscopic .05% in Fayette County and 2-3% in Henry County which are our closest neighbors. Something is definitely awry, especially when you compare/consider the quality of Life in the counties.

The fact remains that many of these sections 8 are transients..They bring little value to the community aside from population. Many pay little if any taxes, do not invest in the community, and in many cases contribute greatly to the crime rate. Most people recognize that their are going to be the poor among us…but all counties need to shoulder the load. For Clayton to recover, we have to make it a little painful for Investors to come in and buy up a cheap property and then whore it out to Section 8 renters.

The bottom line is we need people that are going to reinvest into our county. We need families that have good jobs. we need economic investment. We need companies to come in and provide some jobs that pay a decent wage. The only way that we can attract these kinds of people is to show them a community that is safe, clean and the type of environment that fosters a place where people want to live, woprk and shop. As it stands, all prospective residents get a whiff of Tara Blvd off I-75 or Hwy 85 in Riverdale and they quickly decide to move to Stockbridge or Peachtree City.

African Hair Braiding

June 7th, 2010
9:55 pm

If the candidate looks like me, I vote for them. Black pride. THAT is how you advance a county.


June 8th, 2010
1:00 pm

Well stated Daryl. Well stated indeed. Your posting is so very correct.

Big Papi

June 9th, 2010
8:02 am

Get the hookers off Hwy 85. If you see a white girl on Hwy 85 north of Garden Walk, odds are she’s a hooker. Old National Hwy is looking positively upscale compared to Tara Blvd and Hwy 85. What was our template………Candler Rd? The sleaze is creeping across the Fayette Co border on Hwy 85. The demise of Riverdale started when Walden Books was shuttered. Now B & N has left Fayetteville.

just wow

June 9th, 2010
9:25 pm

I cannot believe that people will vote for a commissioner because they gave you food and took you in during a traumatic event. Just WOW, no wonder we are lost and Clayton is dead last in anything successful. I know many people who have a good heart, but if they don’t have the capabilities to understand basic financial instruments ( stocks, bond referendums, bond ratings, etc) I don’t want them voting for anything that affects my real estate value. Being a good community volunteer does not equate to being a wodnerful leader, just means that you have a caring heart.

Also, if a candidate’s yard signs are in the yards of vacant houses, and along the right of way, I question if your platform is believable.

Send emails and make phone calls to candidates and ask about their support of MARTA coming to Clayton County. Our sales tax would go up to 9% so that a FEW thousand people could get subsidized transportation. Why would we want someone to represent the interest of MARTA, which is nearly bankrupt and cannot take care of the routes that it already has?
BUt I guess I can vote for you because you gave me sandwiches and water when I had no personal responsibility for me and mine.


June 10th, 2010
2:42 am

Just ask them if they were for the health care bill or against it. If they were for it, you vote against them because they are socialist like our President. If they were against it then vote for them. How easy is that?

Make It Count

June 11th, 2010
1:43 am

VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS!!! That’s how you move CC forward…….


June 15th, 2010
11:50 am



June 16th, 2010
2:44 am

I can’t speak for any of the other candidates, but Sonna Singleton and Mike Glanton are the candidates I will be voting for !! I met Commissioner Singleton a couple of years ago, she was volunteering in the schools and one of the things she has always had concerns about was a place for our youth to go and as a result, we got the rec. center in Rex. The rec. center has been excellent for the children and the citizens of Clayton County. Looking for Mike Glanton, well you don’t have to look far !!! He’s usually very active in the schools or in the communties. Mike Glanton didn’t just appear because it’s election time, he’s always around , ready to assist the citizens in any way he can. These two candidates I can truly say, “YOU CAN COUNT ON !’ Voters of CC,
please select your candidates wisely ! Take a look at these two candidates, look at the things they have done for our communities !! Please don’t be fooled by candidates that are simply in the race for recognition !! These two candidates work hard for the citizens of Clayton County. They care for our children !!!!!


June 16th, 2010
3:11 am

Enter your comments here


June 16th, 2010
11:21 am

Face Value or should we say S.S?

Can’t sleep lately?


June 16th, 2010
12:40 pm

Shame on you! Shame on you! I hope you go to church on Sunday.


June 16th, 2010
4:29 pm

Rupert Parchment for Congress.

Please contact me with any questions or to discuss the issues.

My 3 focus areas are:
1) Education – I support choice for parents as well as fixing our public schools without demonizing teachers. When there is an educated community with low taxes, businesses will move into Clayton and hire from within the community. What is the message we are sending private business? If it’s not favorable, change it July 20, 2010 and November 2, 2010 for Rupert Parchment.
2) Jobs – 80% of sustainable jobs are created by small business. We need to create an empowerment zone for Clayton to encourage business development thereby increasing high-paying jobs.
3) Transportation – The C-Tran, when it was running, brought in $2 Million in revenue but cost $10 Million to operate. Taxing 100% of the County for a service used by less than 5% of the Clayton County is not fair. We should vote on the service and determine if it is something that Clayton County residents want in their community. If the vote comes out in favor of the service, I would encourage a private ransportation tservice to hire those unemployed drivers or, even better, allow those drivers to operate the bus lines as their own business. This solution is up for discussion.

Phone: (404) 826-3791


June 23rd, 2010
2:56 pm

Wishing all the Candidates in Clayton County a great day.

L. Johns

July 9th, 2010
1:29 pm

All is not hopeless in Clayton County, at least not in District 34. I will be voting for Travis Spruill for state senate in District 34. He is not a politician, he is a businessman who knows how to get things done. He is new but not inexperienced. I’ve known him for several years and know he is a person of integrity. He’s about building a future for Clayton County that we can all be proud of. Check this candidate out and make an informed decision. I’m making my vote count for Clayton County on July 20!

L. Johns

July 9th, 2010
1:46 pm

Yall, It’s not hopeless for Clayton County, At least not for District 34. My vote is for Travis Spruill. Travis is new but not inexperienced. He is a businessman who knows how to get things done. I’ve known him for several years and know him to be a person of integrity. He’s as fed up as you are and he knows he can help build a great future for Clayton County citizens and everyone in District 34. I’m glad he’s running, we need a fresh change in this district, especially in Clayton County. Make your vote really count on July 20. I plan to.