CLAYTON, Ga. — Unofficial election results seem to show that the race for Clayton County sheriff is headed for a runoff.
It was a crowded candidate pool with five people campaigning to become Clayton County's next sheriff. After Tuesday's special election, none of the candidates appeared to get over the 50% plus 1 vote threshold, triggering a runoff election.
Levon Allen and Clarence Cox were the frontrunners in the race. April 18 is the date set for a runoff.
The effort to become the county's top law enforcement officer comes as part of the fallout from embattled former sheriff Victor Hill. Hill served four terms as sheriff before he was accused of federal civil rights violations. He was found guilty of violating the rights of six inmates while they were under his supervision and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
As the sheriff's office works to move past Hill and his trial, candidates have expressed their intent to improve staffing and training, Clayton County's jail conditions and transparency in the agency.
Allen has been serving as interim sheriff since Hill's departure. According to his candidate bio on his website, Allen had approached Hill at the sheriff's office in 2008 and explained his goal to one day become sheriff. Allen now claims Hill as his godfather and says he became his protégé.
Before his long career in the Clayton County Sheriff's Office, Allen's law enforcement career started in 2010 in DeKalb County as a detention officer. Allen would eventually obtain a correctional officer position in Clayton County. He worked through the ranks in the sheriff's office, including as chief deputy, his website reads.
As for Cox, he boasts 38 years of law enforcement experience and stands on the platform of bringing more transparency to sheriff's office operations and community-oriented policing practices.
Cox currently serves as the chief investigator for the Fulton County Solicitor General's Office, which investigates, charges and prosecutes misdemeanor violations. He was appointed in September 2021.
Learn about the candidates who want to be Clayton County's next sheriff below.