Melissa Strother wins Dougherty School Board seat

Dean Phinazee and Princess Milledge are in a runoff for the District 6 School Board seat

Princess Milledge

Princess Milledge


Melissa Strother

ALBANY — Melissa Strother won the the District 4 Dougherty County School Board seat over Aaron Johnson Tuesday, while in District 6 Dean Phinazee and Princess Milledge are headed for a run-off.

With all of the precincts reporting, Strother had 978 votes to far outpace Johnson’s 485. The two ere vying for the seat being vacated by School Board Chair Carol Tharin, who was not standing for re-election.

In District 6, with all precincts reporting, Dean Phinazee held a 560-459 lead over Princess Milledge, while Shirlette Davis Marcus was in the role of spoiler with 326 votes to prevent either candidate from gaining a simple majority.


Dean Phinazee

“I feel so excited and right now I am still in shock,” Strother, a fourth-generation Albanian, said.”I am grateful to everyone who supported my campaign, which I think resonated with the people in District 4. I am anxious to get to work and will hit the ground running.”

Strother was making her second run at public office.

“I was surprised by the margin I won by,” Strother said. “I was hopeful of winning, but never thought, ‘Oh, I got this.’ Aaron ran a strong, clean campaign and I am so happy to have won.”

Johnson, a professor of economics at Darton State College, was gracious in defeat.

"The campaign for our youth continues. I want to thank all of my supporters," He said. "My wish is that our community comes together to make our school system the best that it can be. I wish Melissa well on the school board. I sincerely hope that she impacts our school system in a positive way and that she connects with our students and parents."