Candidate says he can see better than most - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Candidate says he can see better than most

April 27, 2004

Americus-- He's a first time candidate for a Sumter County Commission seat.

He comes from a family of public servants and says he has lots of great ideas. But, this candidate has a different set of challenges besides running a campaign.

A clerk asks,"You are running for County Commission District 5?"

"District 5 is right," and with a quick signature-- it's official. Albert Cooper, Jr. is on the ballot in the District Five County Commission race.

But, this is not your everyday candidate, "I'm legally blind. In 1981, I was shot and I lost my eyesight in 1981."

On his 24th birthday, the world went dark. But, Cooper says his blindness helps him see clearly, "I think my blindness is an asset, not a disability. I feel like it gives me a chance to understand why and to listen and render decisions based on just the facts, not the person or the individual coming before me."

"I'm proud to see him have interest in government," says Albert Cooper, Sr. He is very proud to see his son follow in his footsteps-- Albert Cooper, Sr. served on city council for 17 years.

Cooper, Sr. says, "I think there will be some feelings concerning his blindness but I think most people know with technology you can do pretty much whatever you want to."

This is the technology that gives Cooper, Jr. the ability to see. His computer for the blind can read any typewritten letter, article, or in his case, a meeting agenda, "I can go over the document way before I go before the council."

This candidate might be blind, but he is fully equipped to take on political office. Albert Cooper, Jr. says he would like to see improved transportation and sidewalks for the blind and the elderly to use.

Posted at 4:10 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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