Ealum leading race for Dougherty post

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Minus early and absentee ballots, it appears that Darrel Ealum will be the next person to represent Dougherty County School Board District 6.

With five out of six precincts reporting, Ealum was leading by 108 votes. The tally was at 654-546 at 10 p.m. Tuesday. At that time, the early absentee votes were the only ones yet to be counted.

"This is very exciting, our team has worked very hard," said Ealum, who followed the returns from his home on Honeysuckle Drive. "Our team has worked extremely hard."

The latest numbers available indicated that Ealum was carrying 54 percent of the vote.

When contacted by phone Tuesday evening, Dean Phinazee said he didn't not want to comment until the final numbers were in.

Both the contenders in this race had a background in education. Phinazee was a teacher for 35 years, 23 of them spent in the Dougherty County School System. Ealum taught for three years at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as an associate professor.

Both also had children educated in the Albany area. All of Ealum's children attended Deerfield-Windsor School and have since either graduated or are attending college. Both of Phinazee's children are products of the Dougherty County School System.

Phinazee was defeated in the 2006 Democratic primary by Michael Windom. He announced his candidacy in October 2009. In April, Ealum filed paperwork to run against Phinazee.

Windom, who had represented District 6 since 1995, announced his retirement in March.