180522-kar-valentine and parker-0011.JPG

Mariah Parker and Tommy Valentine host a viewing party at Southern Brewing Company, in Athens, Georgia, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Photo/Kayla Renie, kayla.renie96@gmail.com)

Athens residents took to the polls to vote in their representatives for Athens-Clarke County Commission Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 on May 22.

In addition to the odd numbered districts up for election in this year's primaries, a special election was opened up for District 2 due to the former District 2 Commissioner Harry Sims resigning to run for mayor.

Commissioners serve for four years and have legislative power which encompasses adopting ordinances and resolutions and creating boards and departments within the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government.

District 1

Patrick Davenport has won the seat of District 1 county commissioner. He grew up in District 1, graduating from both Cedar Shoals High School and the University of Georgia with a degree in political science.

Patrick Davenport

Patrick Davenport, a UGA alumnus, announced his candidacy for District 1 County Commissioner for Athens-Clarke County on Wednesday, Feb. 21. 

Davenport has four main components of his platform: Break the cycle of poverty, drive economic growth for the whole community, develop our workforce not our jails and improve the quality of life for District 1.

District 2: Special Election

Mariah Parker has invested herself in the Athens community through education, music and activism and has now won county commissioner of District 2 against her opponent, Taylor Pass, by less than 1 percent of votes.

She is a 26-year-old doctoral student in linguistics at the University of Georgia who is often known by her hip-hop stage name Linqua Franqa. She has participated in activism roles in the Athens community, including attending DACA protests and the women’s marches.


Mariah Parker, 26, teaching assistant from Louisville, Kentucky, announces her run for the Athens-Clarke County District 2 Commissioner position at Flanigan's Portrait Studio in Athens, Georgia on February 26, 2018. In addition to being a teaching assistant, she is a campaign consultant for Tommy Valentine and a hip-hop artist under the name Linqa Franqa. (Photo/Jason Born)

Parker wants to focus on creating economic stability and racial justice in Athens. She wants to provide a higher minimum wage for residents as well as address criminal justice reform.

District 3

Melissa Link has sealed her spot as the county commissioner for District 3 for another term. She has been the Athens-Clarke County Commission since 2015. She won against her opponent Tony Eubanks with 70 percent of total votes.


The name plate of District 3 Commissioner Melissa Link is shown at a City Hall meeting in downtown Athens, Georgia, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The main focus of the meeting, which led dozens of Athens citizens to fill the meeting place, was to discuss a potential alcohol licensing ordinance that would prohibit discrimination in Athens bars and restaurants. With 6 district commissioners in favor, 2 opposed, and 2 abstaining, the Athens-Clarke County commission voted in favor of anti-discrimination ordinance. The commission also decided to explore options regarding the creation of a Human Relations Committee, but a proposed amendment by District 3 Commissioner Melissa Link to include public input in the creation of the committee was denied. (Photo/Casey Sykes, www.caseysykes.com)

She has been a part of the Government Operations Committee, Board of Health, Land Bank Authority, West Broad Governance Team and Downtown Master Plan Committee. Link is involved in other organizations mostly focusing on sustainability, the arts and Athens activism.

Link centers her platform around protecting neighborhoods and affordable housing, bettering transportation, increasing jobs, protecting the environment, preserving cultures and having open communication.

District 5

Tim Denson has been heavily involved in Athens activism since 2011 and has now officially won county commissioner for District 5.


Tim Denson, a candidate for Athens-Clarke County Commissioner in district 5, speaks at the 420 rally at the Arch, encouraging attendees to register to vote on Friday, April 20, 2018, in Athens, Georgia. The 420 Rally was held in support of decriminalizing cannabis in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Miranda Daniel, mirandadanielphoto@gmail.com)

He is the founder and former president of the grassroots activism group Athens for Everyone and has been part of other social justice organizations such as Athens Anti-Discrimination movement and Occupy Athens.

Denson plans to work toward an open door democracy, racial justice, social justice and an inclusive community, reimagining the local economy, more accessible public transit, infrastructure for District 5, higher quality public education and protecting the environment.

District 7

Russell Edwards has won county commissioner for District 7. He has served as treasurer of the Downtown Athens Business Association and vice chair of Athens-Clarke County Citizen Advocacy.


Clarke County Board of Education member Greg Davis, Patrick Davenport, Russell Edwards, and Tim Denson come together for a high five in front of City Hall before walking to the Board of Elections office to apply for county commissioner positions in Athens, Georgia, on Monday, March 5, 2018. (Photo/McGee Nall, www.mcgeenall.com)

His main platform points consist of having a responsive government, working toward a family-friendly and business-friendly Athens, reforming property taxes and fees, preserving historic neighborhoods and spending local dollars on local law enforcement.

District 9

Ovita Thornton has won the seat of county commissioner for District 9. Thornton been involved in local political efforts from the Georgia Clients Council to Georgia Rural Urban Summit and Boggs Rural Life Center.

Thornton has a platform centered around building community, creating an economic development plan, improving housing management partnerships, preserving historic communities and reforming criminal justice.