Five African women seeking state offices in November plan to launch a statewide bus tour in August to reach citizens and garner support for their campaigns. The women say they plan to start the tour in the metro Atlanta area and move out across the state from there.
The candidates have already marked their page in Georgia’s history books because this is the first time there are five African-American women on the ballot for state offices: Connie Stokes, who is running for lieutenant governor; Robin Shipp, who is running for labor commissioner; Valerie Wilson, who is running for school superintendent; Doreen Carter, who is running for secretary of state; and Liz Johnson, who is running for insurance commissioner.
The women held a press conference on July 23 to make the community aware of their initiative. At the press conference, the women seeking office were joined by State Representatives Dar’Shun Kendrick and Dee Dawkins-Haigler.
Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State Doreen Carter says this election could serve as a milestone not just because they are African American women who are seeking office, but who are well qualified for the jobs they are seeking.
“We’ve all taken on this election with a team approach. There has never been an African American woman elected to a Georgia Constitutional Office,” said Carter, who has a master’s degree from Kennesaw State University and a Master of Theology from Life Christian University. “With myself and the other women running for state offices, we can all do something special on this ticket with the support of the voters.”
In the May primary election, Carter defeated Democratic opponent Gerald Beckum with 201,052 or 68.79 percent of the vote. Beckum garnered 91,198 or 31.21 percent of the vote. She faces Republican incumbent Brian Kemp in November.
Carter says State Rep. Dawkins-Haigler, who serves as the Chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, is spearheading the bus tour.
“This tour will be a great way to get into Georgia communities and reach out to women who want to join in the effort to support change in what many consider an all-male establishment,” said Dawkins-Haigler, who represents Georgia’s District 91. “Yes, it is historic, but more importantly, we are talking about the possibility to change the mindset of the state by electing five qualified women to office. We plan to elect these qualified women to represent our state.”