Four South Fulton Residents Vie for the Late Emma Darnell’s Seat

On September 17, voters in Fulton County’s District 6 will head to the polls to elect a new commissioner, following the death of the beloved Emma Darnell. The district includes Chattahoochee Hills, Fairburn, unincorporated Fulton County, Hapeville, Palmetto and portions of Atlanta, College Park, East Point, South Fulton and Union City.

Nine candidates met the deadline last Friday to qualify for the election to fill Darnell’s unexpired term.

City of South Fulton Residents

Pictured R to L: Colbert-Bradford, Grimmett, Johnson

Four residents of the city of South Fulton have put their names in the hat: Yoshina Colbert-Bradford, Sonia Francis-Rolle, Sojourner Marable Grimmett and Rafer Johnson.

Yoshina Colbert-Bradford

Colbert-Bradford is a life-long resident of the district and a Realtor® with nearly two decades of career experience. She is an alumna of Benjamin E. Mays High School and the University of West Georgia. She currently serves on the Atlanta Board of Realtors® Governance Board.

Sonia Francis-Rolle

Francis-Rolle is a veteran educator and the Executive Director of Velaire Washington Enterprises, Inc. Her career spanning more than thirty years includes experience as a teacher, department head, lead teacher, research coordinator and adjunct professor. She holds a master’s degree in management from Lesley University and a doctor’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Argosy University. She ran for Georgia State Superintendent of Schools in 2018. She is the co-founder of Girls in Aviation, Rhythm of the Wings Chapter and has served as a member of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Education Collective.

Sojourner Marable Grimmett

Grimmett is the Director of External Affairs for National Church Residences. She has over 20 years of public service experience and  previously served in Fulton County Government in the roles of senior public affairs officer and director of constituent services. She currently serves as a board member for the Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority and The Family Health Centers of Georgia. She is also a member of the Grady Ambassador Force.

Grimmett earned media attention for her work to help establish lactation rooms at Hartsfield Jackson-International Airport. She is an alumna of Clark Atlanta University and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Rafer Johnson

Johnson is currently an International Purser at Delta Air Lines and has served as President of the Delta Black Employee Network and founded RISE, Delta’s global mentoring program. His career spans three decades in the healthcare, transportation, safety and hospitality industries, managing budgets and assets of over $1.5 billion.

Johnson has served as Chair of Fulton County’s Housing Authority, a member of the Atlanta Beltline TADAC, Chair of the Camp Creek Middle School Governance Board, Vice President of the Atlanta Pride Committee and Chair of South Fulton NOW. He was recognized by the Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine as a 2015 “Men of Distinction” honoree. He has lived in the district for nearly 20 years, and recently ran for mayor of the city of South Fulton in 2017.

Former Elected Officials

Pictured L to R: Carn, Joyner

Two former elected officials are stepping up to serve again: former College Park Vice Mayor Joe Carn and former Fulton County Commissioner Gordon L. Joyner.

Joe Carn

Carn currently serves as the Deputy of Intergovernmental Affairs and Court Administrator for the Fulton County Solicitor’s Office. He was elected to the College Park City Council in 2005 and served for 12 years.

During his terms, Carn helped to change the FAA’s policy to include a sound insulation program, lower the curfew for children ages 13 and younger and designate the city as a drug-free zone. He also helped to create a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) to generate millions in revenue annually and collaborated with neighboring cities to create the ATL Airport District. He now serves as Chair of LSAC, Vice President of his local PTA and on the board of directors for the Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta.

Gordon L. Joyner

Joyner is an Atlanta-based attorney. He served as a Fulton County Commissioner from 1987 until 1998, and authored the county’s fair housing ordinance. While in office, he was also the Director of Georgia Equal Employment Opportunity.

Joyner’s resume is extensive. He has served as the Director of the Office of Fair Housing under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, a professor at Morehouse College, and an Atlanta Municipal Court Judge. As an attorney in private practice, he has won several precedent-setting cases related to fair housing, equal employment opportunity and elections law. Joyner is an alumnus of Morehouse College and Harvard Law.

More Contenders in District 6

Pictured: Head

Khadijah Abdur-Rahman

Abdur-Rahman is an Atlanta native and local business owner. She is a graduate of Benjamin E. Mays High School and Georgia State University where she studied criminal justice. She has served on the Fulton County Commission on Elderly Affairs and the Atlanta Legal Aid Advisory Board.

Carl Winfrey Dorsey, Jr.

Dorsey is an entertainment executive. He is the owner of Vinyl Touch DJs, LLC and Crystal Moon Recordings.

Warren C. Head, Jr.

Head is an Atlanta native who grew up in the Pittsburgh and Peyton Forest communities. He graduated from Mercer University in 1982 with a degree in marketing and management. Prior to his retirement, Head’s career spanning over 30 years included experience in the retail, insurance and customer service industries. He currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees at his church where he has organized community programs in partnership with the men’s group.

Candidate Forum Planned for South Fulton on July 8

Voters will be able to hear from candidates in South Fulton on Monday, July 8 during a forum held by the South Metro Democratic Women’s Council. The event will take place at The Kingdom of God International Ministry (4590 Welcome All Road) and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Photos: All photos used were submitted to The Observer by the candidates prior to the date of publication.