District 137 House race goes down to the wire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

District 137 House race goes down to the wire

^ Ed Rynders ^ Ed Rynders
^ Craig Mathis ^ Craig Mathis

November 5, 2002

Lee County-- Who will represent District 137 in the State House of Representatives? It's been a hard-fought battle for this seat vacated by Doug Everett. The large district, which winds through Lee, Dougherty, Worth, Colquitt and Thomas counties is heavily Republican. While that's good news for candidate Ed Rynders, Democrat Craig Mathis says don't count him out yet.

Republican candidate Ed Rynders cast his ballot this afternoon, "I usually like to keep this private, but I did vote for myself." And, Rynders says he is confident his supporters will also turn out at the polls, "I've had dogs, opponents and lawyers chasing me and the people of 137 have stuck with me all the way."

And people in 137 are voting. In Lee county, poll workers say people have been lining up to cast their votes. Poll Manager Dianne Savelle says, "The turnout has been wonderful. People were lined up outside before we opened."

Democrat challenger Craig Mathis is counting on a strong turnout to capture a victory--and says people in District 137 are non-partisan, voting based on the best person, not party, "In the primary I was only 109 votes shy of defeating all three Republican candidates." Mathis says, no matter what the outcome, he is proud of his campaign, "I did not run a negative campaign. I can look my grandma in the eye."

Both candidates say their polls show they are leading the race, but the winner will be decided by the voters.

The winner of the newly drawn District 137 seat will succeed Republican Doug Everett who is on the ballot as a Public Service Commission candidate.

Posted at 4:45 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com