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July 7, 2004

Albany-- A bold college student is taking on an incumbent politician in Lee County.

20-year-old Jo Ealum wants the County Commission seat held by District Five commissioner Lewis Harris. But Harris says his experience will help him keep the post.

Campaigning is not for the faint of heart, "There are so many wonderful people in Lee County, in the last three months I have met more people than I have in a lifetime." Jo Ealum has been pounding the pavement all summer.

Politicking is not new to Jo. Her father, Darrell Ealum, has run for office several times, "He told me Jo, you go home and think about it because it is a whole other ball game."

A game she's ready to play, "Everything needs to be rezoned. People are coming in and they are throwing people here and there and it's kind of a last minute decision. And, you know when things are last minute, people are left unhappy."

Lewis Harris, known for his straight talk, does not back down when asked about his opponent, "In the future I believe she can do a good job and I wish her well but right now Lee Countians need Lewis Harris to do the job that we have got started."

A job Harris says he is already doing well, "What I am most proud of in the last 3 and a half years is the youth baseball fields, the two new fire stations."

But what Jo Ealum lacks in experience, she makes up for in enthusiasm, "I have made myself a part of politics, most people wait until they are 25 and 30, I started when I was 12." At 20, Jo Ealum says she can serve District 5 well. Lewis Harris says he is already doing that.

The District Five seat encompasses Leesburg and areas toward Cookville Road.

Posted at 5:45 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com