On Sunday, July 10th–nine days before the July 19th primary– two Democratic candidates competing for the Senate District 26 seat vacated by Macon mayoral candidate Robert Brown–engaged in a radio debate on the Quentin T. Howell weekly public affairs show on WVKX, 103.7 FM.
The long-time state represenative from East Macon since 1974 –-David Lucas— and the former president of Macon City Council Miriam Paris questioned each other’s fitness for office on numerous occasions in regard to issues ranging from the SPLOST issue here in Macon to whether one candidate has Republican support.
Paris has said Lucas has been in office too long, and there has to be a change after nearly four decades in office.
Lucas contends there is much work to do, and the voters need someone who is willing to fight the Republican’s efforts to turn back the clock on a variety of legislative issues including public education and voting rights.
There are only 63 Democrats in the Georgia House–out of 180 members. In the Georgia Senate, there are only 20 Democrats out of 56 total members.
Paris exclaimed that she is someone who can go across the aisle and find consensus with Republicans just like she did with Macon City Council, but Lucas brought up that Paris has the support of local Republicans, including Republican State Representative Allen Peake.
Back in late June, Peake had released a list of endorsements and one of them included that the Republican state representative supports Paris in her run for state Senate.
Howell, the moderator and host of the program, had questioned Paris about whether she has accepted contributions from individual Republicans or whether she received financial support from conservative political action groups.
Paris didn’t give a definitive answer, but Lucas went ahead and outlined the differences between he and Republicans on issues such as the HOPE scholarship.
Peake has been a staunch conservative, and supported many political positions which has included reducing the impact of Macon’s next mayor in a consolidation plan which would make the mayor mostly a ceremonial figure.
However, one of the more controversial positions was Peake’s support of Rep. Mark Hatfield’s birther legislation.
The Republican represntative was an original supporter of Mark Hatfield’s birther bill which was an overt effort to to keep President Barack Obama off of Georgia’s 2012 presidential primary ballot.
Peake’s signature along with the number of his House District was shown here. However, a few days later after some media pressure, Peake and a few Georgia Republicans had quietly scratched their names off the list of public supporters.
There is a three-way race involving two Democrats and one Republican in this high profile mid-summer special election. Plus, voter turnout is predicted to be low and could open the door to a Republican challenger increasing their chances of winning on July 19th or potentially forcing a run-off.
Bobby Gale is a little known Republican challenger, but is relying heavily on support from Twiggs and Wilkinson County in order to pull off an upset.
Senate District 26 encompasses four counties that includes all of Twiggs and parts of Bibb, Wilkinson and Houston.