LAWRENCEVILLE -- It appears Gwinnett's incumbent clerk of superior court was able to overcome allegations of sexual impropriety and favoritism and reclaim his seat during Tuesday's election.
Richard T. Alexander, the Republican incumbent clerk of courts, received 54.5 percent of the unofficial vote Tuesday, besting Democratic challenger Brian Whiteside.
Alexander was promoted to clerk of courts in 2011 after longtime leader Tom Lawler passed away. He retained the seat by taking 116,363 of the 213,573 votes counted as of midnight Tuesday. Whiteside, an attorney from Lilburn, took 97,210 unofficial votes.
The race grew divisive when Whiteside began circulating fliers and emails alleging that Alexander and assistant Lori Taylor had an affair that broke up Alexander's marriage. Whiteside also pointed those interested to a YouTube video allegedly showing Alexander and Taylor leaving a Norcross hotel together.
Whiteside alleged that Taylor also got a promotion and "taxpayer-funded raise" thanks to her relationship with Alexander.
Neither Alexander nor Taylor have commented publicly on the nature of their relationship, but both denied any improper benefits were granted to the latter.
Whiteside admitted defeat late Tuesday but continued to challenge his competitor.
"I think what I've tried to show is that Gwinnett County expects better from its public officials," Whiteside said. "He still needs to be investigated for his actions."
Alexander could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The county has no concrete rule prohibiting employees from having relationships with subordinates. Alexander told the Daily Post last week that his predecessor promoted Taylor to "confidential executive assistant," not himself.
"I did not promote Ms. Taylor nor give her a raise of any kind," he said, "and she has not had a raise since her promotion by Mr. Lawler."
County personnel records show that Taylor was officially promoted on Jan. 1, 2011, months before Lawler passed away in November after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.
Whiteside continued his stand against Alexander on Tuesday.
"When I tuck my kid in at night, I want him to be like Neil Armstrong," he said. "I don't want him to be like Richard Alexander."