Candidates flock to legislative special elections

[private]Qualifying ended Wednesday for two special elections for legislative seats and there will be no shortage of candidates in either race.

The election in Senate District 43, where Ron Ramsey stepped down to accept a traffic court judgeship, attracted 10 candidates, virtually ensuring a runoff election. There are four candidates who qualified to run in House District 122, a seat recently vacated by veteran legislator Ben Harbin.

The candidates in Senate District 43 include:

  • Diane Adoma of Conyers, who co-owns several H&R Block tax preparation franchises, is running as a Republican after recently switching parties. She ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D-Lithonia) in 2014 as a Democrat.
  • State Rep. Tonya P. Anderson (D-Lithonia) a certified life coach and pastor.
  • Marcus Jordan, a Democrat from Covington who’s the chief appraiser for Newton County.
  • William “Bill” Kennedy, a Republican retiree.
  • Angela Moore of Lithonia, who ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state as a Democrat in 2010 and is now running as a non-partisan.
  • Sharon Griffin Sawyer, a financial analyst from Covington who’s running as a Democrat.
  • Rodney Upton, a Conyers contractor and a Democrat.
  • Janice Frey Van Ness of Conyers, a former county commissioner and current chair of the Rockdale Republican Party.
  • Sherri L. Washington, a Conyers attorney and a Democrat.
  • Stan Williams of Conyers, a Democrat and consultant who worked in the Department of Education during Bill Clinton’s administration.

Senate District 43 – which includes portions of DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties – is Democratic-leaning and majority black. The district voted 71-28 percent for Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race and has a black voting age population of nearly 60 percent.

The candidates in House District 122 are all Republicans and include:

  • Pat Goodwin, a community relations director from Evans and formerly the chairwoman of the Columbia County Republican Party.
  • Jodi Lott of Evans, a registered nurse and co-owner of Evans Rehabilitation Services.
  • Joe Mullins, a developer from Martinez.
  • Mack Taylor, an Evans attorney who resigned from the Columbia County Commission to run in the special election.

House District 122 in Columbia County is predominantly white and Republican-leaning. It voted 74-25 percent for Mitt Romney in 2012 and has a black and Latino voting age population of less than 20 percent.

Both elections are scheduled for Nov. 3 with runoffs if necessary on Dec. 8.

In 2016 election news, Augusta physician and business owner Mark Newton announced Tuesday he will run for the House seat in District 123, where Rep. Barbara Sims (R-Augusta) has said she will not run for another term next year.

Newton is the medical director of the emergency department at Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta. He is also the CEO of MedNow Urgent Care Centers, which have three locations Richmond and Columbia counties.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Angela Moore , Bill Kennedy , Diane Adoma , House District 122 , Janice Van Ness , Jodi Lott , Joe Mullins , Mack Taylor , Marcus Jordan , Mark Newton , Pat Goodwin , Rodney Upton , Senate District 43 , Sharon Griffin Sawyer , Sherri Washington , special elections , Stan Williams , Tonya Anderson