Ex-Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill in courtDemocrats in a predominantly black metro Atlanta county ousted in Tuesday’s partisan runoff contest the local incumbent sheriff, selecting instead a candidate weathering a 37-count felony indictment as the jurisdiction’s top lawman.

Incumbent Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough lost reelection yesterday to ex-sheriff Victor Hill, who district attorneys accused in January of racketeering, theft by taking and influencing a witness.

Hill claimed 54 percent in uncertified returns from the Democratic runoff and will face no Republican opposition in the fall, but a number of roadblocks remain: namely, prison.

If convicted of a felony, Hill would be immediately disqualified from the post.

But if the charges against the candidate remain unsettled before he assumes office, Governor Nathan Deal is empowered to suspend Hill and appoint a temporary sheriff.

– James Richardson