Women’s Voices of Glynn County hosted a forum Sunday afternoon to provide community members a chance to meet progressive women candidates running in the upcoming elections.

The event attracted more than 90 participants, who rotated in groups around the room to each of the eight candidates’ tables for short, intimate question and answer opportunities.

Women’s Voices of Glynn County is a local group that aims to lift up the collective voice of women in the area. The group has worked with Glynn County’s Democratic Party to encourage more local women to run in this year’s election.

Local candidates at the forum Sunday included Glynn County Board of Education candidates Sharon Robinson, Markisha Butler and Regina Johnson, Joint Water and Sewer Commission candidate Audrey Gibbons and State House District 179 candidate Julie Jordan.

State election candidates included Congressional District 1 candidate Lisa Ring, Georgia Secretary of State candidate Dee Dawkins-Haigler and Georgia lieutenant governor candidate Triana Arnold James.

Robinson, who is running for the District 2 seat on the local school board, said she chose to run in order to bring more diversity to the school board.

“I’m active in the Democratic party, and a big push for us was to get candidates on the ballot … We do need more diversity,” she said. “I think a lot of women agree because they’re running in record numbers.”

Gibbons, an accountant and chair of the Glynn County Democratic Party, said she’s running in order to bring more transparency to the Joint Water Sewer Commission. She said lacking collaboration between the government entities involved in the commission has led to a long list of problems for the county.

“What can we do to make it more transparent, more collaborative, to include the City Commissioners and the County Commission, for these three boards to work together and see what we can do about the tap in fees, the impact fees, the infrastructure, the sewer, the septic, whatever the issue is,” Gibbons said.

Butler, an at-large school board candidate, has 18 years of experience in various workforce development positions at Head Start, Job Corps, Altamaha Technical College, Coastal Pines Technical College and the Georgia Department of Economic Development-Georgia WorkSmart program.

Her diverse experiences makes her stand out as a candidate, she said.

“I think I just bring a different background,” she said. “I grew up in a single family home. I’m the second oldest of six … I don’t believe that where you come from should determine where you go. So I can relate to people from diverse backgrounds.”

Johnson is running for the District 4 school board seat. She said she intends to serve as an advocate for teachers and to push for parent involvement in the schools.

“When we work together as a team we can accomplish anything,” Johnson said.

Jordan will run against incumbent Don Hogan for the House District 179 seat. She said she’s running to give voters a choice.

If elected, she said she’d focus on issues that are important to this area, including economic development, support for living wages, accessible early education and environmental protections.

“We have had local candidates that run continually unopposed for many many years,” Jordan said. “I feel like our voters need a choice. We need to have our voices heard, no matter what the issues. All the people in this district matter.”

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