Sat | Jul 4, 2020

Jamaicans contesting Georgia primary elections

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2020 | 12:18 AMLester Hinds/Gleaner Writer

SEVERAL JAMAICANS have stepped forward to contest positions in Georgia’s primary elections.

Those seeking political office in Tuesday’s elections are Donna McLeod, Jewell Scott, Andy Morgan, Desmond Nembhard, and John Eaves.

Morgan and Nembhard are running to become county chair for Gwinnet county, and Scott, who served for a number of years as Jamaica’s honorary consul to Atlanta, Georgia, is seeking to become the first Jamaican elected to the Clayton County Superior Court. McLeod is seeking re-election to her District 105 state representative seat, and Eaves is running to become the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer in the November general elections for the 7th Congressional District.

Scott told The Gleaner that she feels confident ahead of the elections.

“The campaign is going good as we approach the primary election. Because of COVID-19, we had to change our method of campaigning. We started out going knocking on doors and meeting with members of the community, but with COVID-19, we had to rely on other methods, such as social media, to campaign,” she said.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Scott said she did not have to hire a professional political consulting team because of the shift in campaigning.

“I have had a lot of community support in this campaign. I feel good about my campaign, and I believe that I should emerge victorious,” she said.

While candidates for the court seat do not have political designations, Scott is running as a Democrat. She has a Republican opponent, who currently sits in the seat, having been appointed to the position by the governor.

Former Ambassador Andrew Young endorsed her campaign.

Eaves, who is seeking to become the Democratic representative in the November elections, must fend off the challenge of two others.

He is running on a platform that includes equal pay for men and women; universal pre-K education; higher pay for teachers; more investment in communities surrounding public schools; investment in after-school programmes and programmes to stem teen violence; and gun violence and gun reform.

His platform also focuses on criminal-justice reform.

McLeod, the sitting representative for the state’s 105th District, does not have an opponent in the primary elections, but she faces a Republican opponent in the November general elections.

McLeod told The Gleaner said there is need for a change in the society and that people have to participate in the electoral system by voting if it is to be realised.

“Change happens because you force it,” she said.

The state representative said she is working to create a database that will track police officers who have been dismissed so that persons cannot then be employed elsewhere in the same capacity, depending on the reason for the termination of contract.

Nembhard and Morgan are running for the same position of county chair.