A funny thing happened in the five-way race to determine who will represent north DeKalb on the county commission: An unknown 86-year-old retiree, who had never before sought public office, received the most votes.
So how did Holmes Pyles, who didn’t raise a penny for his campaign, end up as the top vote-getter in the race to replace former DeKalb Commissioner Elaine Boyer, who pleaded guilty to bilking taxpayers out of some $93,000?
Perhaps Pyles benefited from being the only independent candidate as Republican voters split their support among his four Republican opponents, said several political observers. Or maybe voters wanted to elect someone they weren’t familiar with who could bring a unique perspective.
Pyles, who doesn’t use email and didn’t put up yard signs, lends toward the latter explanation for why he won 26 percent of the vote.
“People are tired of what’s been going on in DeKalb,” Pyles said during an interview Wednesday at his home near Stone Mountain. “Politicians are using taxpayers’ money for manipulation.”
Pyles will face the runner-up in the race, former DeKalb Board of Education member Nancy Jester, in a Dec. 2 runoff to represent more than 140,000 residents in Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, Dunwoody and Tucker.