It's been a month since District 127 Representative Quincy Murphy died. A special election to fill his unexpired seat will be held in November. Qualifying for the seat begins on Monday, but three people have now come forward to announce plans to fill the vacancy. In our Vote 2013 report, Dee Griffin is here with more on the race and its impact locally.
For eleven years, Quincy Murphy represented the people of District 127 with passion, determination and strong will. Now, the people of district 127 are tasked with finding someone who can carry on those attributes.
So far, two people have thrown their hats in the race with the most recent being Brian Prince who announced on the Judicial building steps. "I will try to build economic development as well as to help the citizens realize that the crime rate is high and then unemployment. Jefferson county has a high rate of unemployment. I would like to see if we could get more jobs and training out there," says Prince.
His announcement comes just two weeks after Quincy Murphy's wife, Diane, made public her plans to run for her late husband's unexpired term. It's a race that is highly watched due to its potential placement in what is predicted to be a fight to change the voter landscape statewide.
Richmond County Democratic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum explains, "this seat represents an individual who will fight the republicans in the state legislature who wish to, as I think about it, suppress the vote and situations like that."
The announcement by Diane Murphy places this race in the ranks of others in past years that have seen political widows running to fill a husband's seat. Patsy Scott ran a successful campaign to fill her late husband's seat on the Richmond County school board. Betty Beard ran and won her late husband's seat on the County Commission. But, Richmond County Democratic party chairperson Lowell Greenbaum says that relationship does not give them a heads above the rest.
Rather, he insists, the candidate's platform elevates him or her to the top spot. "I'm very interested in learning about their program. What is their program that they plan for us and our community? That's the important thing," says Greenbaum.
Also, Diane Evans of Jefferson County has announced plans to run as well. Qualifying officially begins next Monday and runs through Wednesday. All candidates must go to Atlanta to qualify.
The special election will be held on November 5th.
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