Dukes wins Commissioner of Agriculture race eligibility case
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - State Rep. Winfred Dukes (D-Albany) succeeded in a challenge to his eligibility in running for the Office of Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture.
The hearing was conducted on April 11. The court ruled that Dukes is qualified to be a candidate for Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture based on the evidence presented.
“This is a great day for Georgia and for Georgians who seek to serve the people in elective office,” said Dukes in response to the ruling in his favor. “I believe the court has sent a clear message that candidates do not decide who can or cannot run for office in this state.”
In Juhan-Arnold v. Dukes, farmer Katherine Juhan-Arnold challenged Dukes’ qualification to be a candidate with a petition before the Office of State Administrative Hearings.
Regarding the order issued on Thursday, Stephanie M. Howells, administrative law judge, made the decision based upon the findings and conclusions of law and found that Dukes is qualified and his name will remain on the ballot.
“I more than meet all the qualifications for this office,” Dukes said, “I am moving forward with a dynamic campaign team, great endorsements, and strong community support. We look forward to serving the people of Georgia. Our goals are to create good-paying jobs with benefits, protect small and mid-size farmers, expand markets, grow a healthy agribusiness sector, protect the environment, provide educational opportunities for youth, end food deserts (through sustainable agriculture, urban farming and providing access to healthy, locally grown food), and focus on the safety of foods on your tables.”
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