They also picked two school board members in tight races for the two seats that saw some of the closest margins in the county.
Voters chose Cherokee County Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Janet Read over Danny Dukes for chair of the board of education and Patsy Jordan over incumbent Kim Cochran for District 2.
Kelly Marlow, a charter schools advocate and parent of two Cherokee Charter Academy students, took the seat for District 1, which has no incumbent. She defeated Kyla Cromer to capture the seat.
Read’s win, as well as Jordan’s for District 2, mark a victory for pro-public school advocates.
Read, who has served on the school board for the last eight years, received 20,144 votes, or 56.7 percent, while her opponent Dukes, a member of the Cherokee Charter Local Governing Council as well as the Georgia Charter Education Foundation, received 15,352 votes, or 43.3 percent.
“I’m just so humbled by the amount of support that I have received throughout the county,” Read said. “It was a grassroots effort that really took everyone’s help. I’m honored that the taxpayers of this county want me to represent them for the next four years.”
Read said she enjoyed a quiet celebration with friends and family Tuesday night, as she plans to volunteer at Etowah High School Wednesday as she has done every other week for the last six years.
Dukes could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Marlow, a part-time substitute teacher, edged out her District 1 opponent Kyla Cromer by 25 votes. Marlow received 2,971 votes or 50.2 percent, while Cromer received 2,946 votes, or 49.8 percent.
“A lot of hard work seems to have paid off this evening,” Marlow said. “I’m very proud and happy that the door-to-door work and hours of work I’ve put in all summer have also paid off.”
“I’m looking forward to working with the current administration to unite our community behind the one goal of education,” Marlow said.
Cromer, who serves as PTA co-president at Sixes Elementary School and Freedom Middle School, expressed her congratulations to all of the winners and thanked all of her supporters.
“I will continue to advocate for all children in Cherokee County,” Cromer said.
In District 2, incumbent Cochran, who was elected in 2008, lost by only 77 votes to challenger Jordan. Cochran received 3,665 votes, or 49.5 percent, while Jordan received 3,742 votes, or 50.5 percent.
“I am so excited,” Jordan said. “I can not wait to be part of a team that’s going to work so hard to dedicate time to every child in Cherokee County.”
Jordan said she is most looking forward to voting on measures to help students throughout the county.
“This is what it’s been about for me from the beginning,” Jordan said. “It’s all for the kids.”
Cochran could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.