Democratic candidates who hope to represent Glynn County at multiple levels of government attracted enough people to fill the Glynn County Democratic Party’s headquarters Monday.
Around 60 to 70 people left standing room only for those wanting to listen to Glynn County Commission candidate Julian Smith; Board of Education candidates Regina Johnson, Sharon Robinson and Markisha Butler; state Senate candidate Jerrold Dagen; state House of Representatives candidates Julie Jordan and Cedric King; and U.S. House of Representatives candidates Barbara Seidman and Lisa Ring.
The candidates started off with brief addresses to the crowd, in which most supported increased funding and resources for education, greater attentiveness to constituents, putting more effort into environmental conservation, bringing a wider variety of jobs to the area and increasing wages.
Seidman, running for the 1st U.S. Congressional District against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, is married to a military veteran, and said the government needs to do a better job of taking care of those who have sacrificed for the country.
Ring, also running against Carter, said she wanted to bring more medicaid funding to the state to support rural hospitals and clinics.
King, who is running for state House District 167 against incumbent state Rep. Jeff Jones, R-St. Simons Island, put an emphasis on economic development and improving infrastructure
Jordan, running for state House District 179 opposing state incumbent Rep. Don Hogan, R-St. Simons Island, said she has been hearing the same rhetoric from politicians again and again, and hopes to secure more funding for education.
Dagen, running for state Senate District 3 against incumbent Sen. William Ligon, R-White Oak, said the Democrats have an uphill battle in Georgia, but that it was important to run in areas where Republican candidates often don’t have opposition. He wants to tackle the issue of poverty in the state.
Smith is running for county commission At-large Post 1. He played up his experience, saying he likely has spent more time in elected office than most of the current county commissioners have combined.
Robinson, running for the open District 2 seat on the school board, said the county as a whole needs to make education a higher priority, and that the school board needs more money to expand access to education.
Butler, running for the school board’s At-large Post 1 seat, said Glynn County needs more qualified and exceptional teachers, and needs to make the resources available to retain them.
Running against incumbent Republican Hank Yeargan for the school board’s District 4 seat, Johnson said she will make the board more accountable to the public and bring more transparency to the budgeting process.
After the candidates addressed the public, Glynn County Democrats Chairwoman Audrey Gibbons opened the floor for questions.
One member of the public asked whether the state legislature candidates intended to find ways to compromise and work together with Republicans. King and Jordan said they had experience being one of the few, if not only, Democrats in the room, and knew how to work together with those whom they may not agree. Dagen said compromise may not always be possible or desirable, adding that Republicans have shut out Democrats for the last 10 years.
Another asked what the board of education candidates thought about guns. All three in attendance felt they needed to be further regulated.
Election day for primaries is May 22. The general election is Nov. 6.
The deadline for registering to vote in the primary is today, but those wishing to vote in the general election can register by and Oct. 9. For more information, call the Glynn County Board of Elections at 912-554-7060.