Three democrats fight for House Seat 151 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Three democrats fight for House Seat 151

June 23, 2004

Albany - A 12 year incumbent, a retired teacher and a former police officer are running for Georgia House Seat 151. And, it's been a combative race. Democrats Lawrence Roberts, Freddie Powell-Sims, and Manswell Peterson are going head to head on issues from gay marriage to taxes.

"No one is speaking up for the people, and the people don't have a voice," said candidate Manswell Peterson. Peterson wants to be the voice for Dougherty County voters. The Albany native says lawmakers are spending money in the wrong places. "We need to control this by cutting out some of the frivolous things that we are building. $200,000,000 buildings, we don't need those. Instead we need money to pay for health care," said Peterson.

Peterson supports state mandated health care and bringing jobs to east Albany. "More jobs means more people, more people means more taxes. Raising taxes isn't the answer when times are already tough," said Peterson.

Tuesday afternoon, Freddie Powell Sims greeted voters at an East Albany gas station. "I've always wanted to participate in the political process and help people any way I can."

The retired educator knows what issues she wants to press if she earns a trip to the Capital. "Affordable health care and daycare, equitable taxation, protection of the HOPE scholarship, and making sure we have jobs for our people here in Dougherty County," said Sims.

Sims and Peterson say incumbent Lawrence Roberts is inaccessible to voters and isn't a powerful voice for his constituents. But, Roberts says his seniority will help bring state dollars to local projects.

"It takes time to gain rapport with the Speaker and other members of the General Assembly to be able to do the project you want done in Albany and Dougherty County," said Roberts.

He says he'll fight to preserve South Georgia's water supply and stands behind his February vote against an amendment to ban gay marriages. "I think the constitution should expand rights to whoever, rather that be gays, lesbians, straight, whatever. I don't think the constitution should take away rights."

The three democrats have less than a month to sway voters, until then they'll keep walking the campaign trail.

Republican Phil Cannon was forced to leave the race for House Seat 151 because he was not registered to vote.

Posted at 3:32PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com