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Clarke School Board Member Ovita Thornton Will Run for ACC Commission

Clarke County Board of Education member Ovita Thornton will run for Athens-Clarke County Commission in District 9, she announced today.

Thornton is serving her fourth term on the BOE representing District 9, which does not exactly correspond to Commission District 9, but covers much of the same territory in northern Clarke County. She has lived on Fowler Drive for 34 years.

She is also executive director of the Georgia Clients Council, a nonprofit whose mission is “empowering low income people through education and training to create positive changes in their lives and in their communities.”

She’s also an active participant in a number of community organizations, including an ad hoc group devoted to improving the low-income housing project Bethel Midtown Village, which is located in District 9.

Thornton had tentatively planned to make a formal announcement June 24, but a church mission trip to Honduras scuttled those plans. Prior to the mission trip, she will serve as a delegate to the Georgia School Board Association’s summer conference, so the announcement will be made after she returns.

“At the initial exploratory meeting in February, it was clear that planning and prior commitments would delay an early official announcement. The children’s fable The Tortoise and The Hare is our reminder of how we are managing this race. The team is focused  and  diligently pacing our plan,” Cory Thornton, her son and campaign manager, said in a news release.

Another candidate, Tommy Valentine, officially announced his candidacy two weeks ago.

District 9 is currently represented by Kelly Girtz, who won’t be running for re-election because he’s running for mayor in 2018.