Challenger Ashley Adams defeated John Darden for Troup County Board of Education District Six, 56.3 percent to 43.41 percent.
Darden had served on the school board for more than 17 years.
“I can’t tell you how humbled I am,” said Adams, an educator and community volunteer. “I am speechless this morning. This has been the most humbling experience I’ve ever had.”
Adams was the “A” in “Team ABCD,” a group of challengers formed to run against the incumbents in this year’s race.
Adams said she aligned herself with the group, however, not to “take over” the board.
“The team, in my eyes, was never in my eyes supposed to be what it turned out to be,” she said. “When I got involved, I had no political experience. I always wanted to be in education, not politics. We were like-minded on a lot of issues, but we never agreed 100 percent on everything.”
She was disappointed, though, that more members of the “team” weren’t elected.
“There are good, knowledgeable, informed citizens in that group,” she said. “We’ll just have to see what happens with (Sheila Rowe and Dariel Daniel.)
Daniel and Rowe are in a runoff Aug. 21.
Darden said he was pleased he and Adams ran a clean campaign.
“She worked hard to get her message across,” he said. “I thought my 18 years of experience would help me, but people were ready to try something different. I appreciate all the support I received over the years.”
Darden said he wouldn’t rule out completely a run for the school board in the future.
“I believe (Adams) will work hard for the children and in the end that’s what’s most important,” he said.