Voters speak on Bowen's switch - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Voters speak on Bowen's switch

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November 12, 2002

Worth County- Party switching is not only sparking debate at the capital, but its a topic of discussion at Ed's Truck Stop, too.

"I knew it was going to happen; I didn't know who it was going to be," says James Nelson.

Its what's best for the people in the 13th district. That is the statement State Senator Rooney Bowen is making about his switch from a Democrat to a Republican. But Bowen won't speak to the media himself.

"He's known as a quiet but effective legislator, and it's not his style to jump on TV and beat his chest and brag about a decision," says Bowen Campaign Coordinator, Gabe Jordan.

And what about all the voters who re-elected him as a Democrat? "From everything we've heard the people voted for the person and not the party," adds Jordan.

At Ed's, some voters support Bowen's move. Others don't like it. "I don't know much about Rooney Bowen, but I think he sees that the Republican party is more for what South Georgia wants right now," says Melissa Souter.

"I think that if you're elected on a Democratic ticket and you turn Republican, they ought to have to hold another election," says Nelson.

Not only did Bowen leave the Democrats, but he used thousands of the party's money to run his campaign.

Whether the voters like it or not Rooney Bowen will continue to represent the 13th district as a Republican until 2006.

Republican Carden Summers, who ran against Bowen, says he's ready to run against Bowen again when his term is up no matter what party he represents.

Posted at 10:35 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com