Karen Watkins and Mary Kay Murphy.jpg

Karen Watkins, left, and Mary Kay Murphy.

Democrats did not sweep all of the Gwinnett County school board races like they would have preferred, but they did win enough to flip control of the board on Tuesday.

The school board races were a mixed bag for Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats only needed to flip one seat on the board to take control of it. They did that when Karen Watkins defeated Republican District 1 incumbent Carol Boyce by earning 54,901 votes, or 58.72% of the votes cast in the race.

That means Democrats will now be in control of local education policy and curriculum in Gwinnett schools.

But Republicans did score one victory when District 3 board member Mary Kay Murphy won re-election over her Democratic challenger, Tanisha Banks. Murphy got 44,264 votes, or 50.81% of the votes cast in the race.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education is now the last local refuge for Republicans, with Murphy and fellow board member Steve Knudsen being the only members of GOP to hold local offices in Gwinnett.

It is unclear how District 5 write-in candidate George Puicar fared against Democratic candidate Tarece Johnson in that district since the election results don’t list write-in votes. The election results list Johnson as receiving 100% of the votes cast. District 5 was already held by a Democrat, longtime board member Louise Radloff.

The Daily Post is awaiting word from county officials on the write-in votes in the race.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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