ROSWELL, Ga. — After almost 20 years, Roswell citizens have chosen a new mayor in the historic Dec. 5 election. Lori Henry defeated opponent Lee Jenkins in the runoffs with 55 percent of the vote. She replaces Jere Wood, who has been Roswell’s mayor since 1998 when he defeated incumbent W. L. “Pug” Mabry.
“I am thankful and honored that the people of Roswell have put their faith in me,” Henry said. “I have heard the residents of Roswell and know, more than ever, we have a passionate and committed citizenry. I am ready to show up every day and do the work they have hired me to do. Together, we have made history.”
As the city’s first female mayor, Henry said she has received many positive reactions to the win and credits her father for teaching her that she could achieve anything.
“It is a momentous milestone and a real responsibility to achieve such a historic honor,” Henry said. “One of my supporters related that her 8-year-old daughter was thrilled learning that Roswell had elected its first female mayor.”
This has been an intense political season for Roswell residents. All but two council seats were up for election this fall, drawing a large slate of almost 20 candidates, and campaigning continued well into early December. But out of all of the open positions, the mayor’s seat drew the most attention after Wood was ousted in August by a Fulton County Superior Court ruling on term limits.
On Wood’s leaving, Henry said she wishes him “the best of health and good wishes as he begins this new chapter in his life.”
The vote came down to a close runoff between Henry and Jenkins after none of the four candidates on Nov. 7 won an outright majority. The campaigning between the two camps only became more vigorous as the holidays approached, and Henry said she commends Jenkins, his supporters and volunteers for their dedication and passion.
“I applaud Lee Jenkins, and I appreciate the time, effort and his desire to serve our community,” Henry said. “I also want to acknowledge Lee’s wife, Martica and their family. Every candidate knows how hard the election process can be for the ones we care about and they deserve our heartfelt gratitude.”
Going forward, Henry said she hopes to emphasize unity between both her and Jenkin’s supporters as well as every citizen in Roswell.
“We are beginning a new era in the city of Roswell, and that is refreshing,” Henry said. “As mayor, I will set the tone and tenor of my administration. In years past, many citizens felt their voices were not heard. Roswell is growing and our dedicated citizenry needs to have a say in what direction we head and who we want to be.
“I pledge transparency and fiscal responsibility at every level of government. I want to be an even better steward of the taxpayer dollar. Transportation and the improvements we need will be hot topics in the years to come. I, along with Council, will work to ensure the very best plans are implemented.”
Henry, a small business owner, previously served on the Roswell City Council from 2001-2009 as well as briefly in 2017. She initially began her career as a public school teacher in Cobb County after graduating from Ohio State University.