Opponent Fani Willis, who has prosecuted cases for years at the district attorney’s office, outperformed her former boss during the June Democratic preliminaries, but neither candidate received 50% of the vote, fueling the flow on Tuesday.
Willis defeated incumbent Howard on Tuesday by 3 on 1, according to county election results. With nearly 91% of constituencies reporting, Willis had more than 43,000 votes, about 73% of all votes, compared with Howard’s 15,800.
There were no Republican candidates on the ballot for the June primary election.
Calling the race “hottest in America” and reminding reporters that politics is a sport of exposure, Howard admitted defeat late on Tuesday and promised to ease Willis̵
“It is important for me to protect the people of this community, and I want to make sure that when her first day in power comes a reality that she can continue to protect people living in Fulton County. ,” I said.
Howard has a lot to be proud of, he said. Not only was he the first African-American lawyer elected in Georgia, but he also won the election five times.
He left office under a series of accusations, but he didn’t mention them in his concession speech. Instead, he advertised his success in tackling violent crime and murders, reducing the Fulton County Prison population and making cities safer during his 23 years in power.
“I came with pride and I left with pride,” he said, explaining that he was particularly proud of his attempt to prosecute black police officers charged with murder.
“ He will continue to fight police brutality in his post-prosecutor’s life, ” he said.
“It’s really hard when you’re a man and you have to tell your kids to be on the lookout for the police and be careful. I don’t think that’s how we should live in this country and so I will. is working to change that, “he said.
The murder of Rayshard Brooks
Chief among Howard’s police prosecutions is his decision to charge former Atlanta police officers Devin Brosnan and Garrett Rolfe in the June murders of Brooks. Rolfe was charged with murder after shooting Brooks when he ran away from officers in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.
Howard’s critics criticized the decision as hasty, saying it had failed a state-level investigation and appeared to be aiming to score political points amid a resurgent election campaign. The Georgia Sheriff’s Association called the allegations a “great ballot-seeking tactic.” Howard denied the charges, praising his record of accusing dozens of police officers since taking office in 1997.
“My hope is always that we will have a justice system, that the police system will be the same as with any defendant,” he said. “I hope that Miss Willis will continue that tradition – that when a police officer engages in some misconduct it is the DA who is held accountable.”
Willis kept his winning speech short, hugging his masked team and urging attendees to eat something and go out and social distance.
“I want to thank all the elected officials who really have the courage to go up against an incumbent and for what’s right,” she said. “I want to thank the voters of this county for believing in me. Tonight was a good night. We did ‘herstory.’ I am just humble and thank you. “
The good and the bad
Howard will resign with a mixed record. While the trial of NFL player Ray Lewis and two others charged with murder after the 2000 Super Bowl party was deemed a failure (Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction; other men were acquitted) But his success has been numerous.
His controversial decision to prosecute teachers and administrators in the Atlanta Public Schools fraud scandal ended with 11 defendants convicted of fraud and other charges. Howard has also proudly promoted his Project Upgrades, which aim to limit recidivism and his Unit of Faith Integrity. As part of that effort, his office took a different look at the child killings of Atlanta in 1979-1981. It also releases a prisoner serving a life sentence for a drug offender.
He is still under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which previously declined to discuss their investigation with CNN, but the CNN affiliate WSB reports that it stemmed from the accusation he paid. Illegally using money from a non-profit organization.
Earlier this month, he paid $ 6,500 to settle a lawsuit with the state ethics commission, which accuses him of having 14 breaches stemming from his alleged failure to disclose his role in teams. non-profit organizations, WSB reported.
Howard has previously said that he would be “completely exempt from charges” on both matters.
Three women have also charged him with sexual misconduct, harassment, and sexism. Howard questioned the timing of the lawsuits, which he said were “within weeks of the general election.”
“I think everyone can see through it,” he said. “Guy has been in office for 23 years and then a month or two before the election, these harassing lawsuits are filed.”
CNN’s Dakin Andone contributed to this report.