Thompson defeats Jackson and Bailey to win school board seat

Published 6:38 pm Thursday, May 23, 2024

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By Annie Bresee

At the time of publishing, Mark Thompson has received 851, Jackson has 302 and Bailey has 284. Thompson has won outright by receiving over 50 percent of the votes. Thus, a run-off election will not be held.

“I was surprised when I got as many votes as I did,” Thompson said laughing. “Thank everybody for supporting me in this election and praise God that I prevailed.”

Thompson, though retired, worked at manufacturing plants such as Kia and LaGrange Molding for 40 years.

The winner will take Brandon Brooks’s seat on the board. Brooks is the current chairman of the board and has been a member since 2017.

Jackson works in medical management for Concentra; however, she previously worked as a family advocate at Headstart, an early childhood education program for low-income families. Jackson said while she was not sad to lose, she was disappointed with the results.

“Waking up to the election results, I’m worried about the next four years of our kid’s future. District 3 elected a man who never mentioned the word kid or child in his first two forums…He had no platform and no plan,” Jackson said.

She emphasized the fact she was not sad due to the personal loss but feels it is a loss for the district. She adding her opponent Bailey was also “very qualified” for the position. While Jackson will not be on the school board next year, she said she will remain active in her district and community.

“I have been active within the community for a number of years; 20-plus years. Just because I lose a race doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop helping my community, I’m always here,” Jackson said.

Bailey, a 16-year resident of Hogansville, serves as the director of administration for the LaGrange Housing Authority.

“I had a great experience. I’ve learned new things about myself that I will continue to use throughout my journey in life,” Bailey said. “So I will continue to strive and serve the community in the biggest capacity that I can.

Bailey said she plans to remain committed to the Housing Authority and her work with programming, including the Authority’s summer camp Queen in You and church.

Thompson said he will be following the rest of the school board session while he waits to take office in January.

“​​My main focus is being honest and fair. Transparency to people, the taxpayers to kind of want to know, how their money is being spent…So what I’m focusing on is wasteful spending” Thompson said.

He added, “Some of the programs that used to be in place are not in place anymore… college is not for everybody. They don’t teach them how to write in cursive writing anymore. They don’t teach him how to read the tape measure and general knowledge.”

Thompson said that the senior property tax relief is an issue he would like to look into.

“It can be done. You know, you might have sacrificed one thing to be able to get relief or another thing on senior tax,” Johnson said.