The Republican race to represent the newly-created and democratic-leaning 12th congressional district is picking up speed.
Barbara Dooley, a radio talk show host from Athens, Max Burns, a Georgia Southern professor from Screven County and Woodrow Lovett, a farmer from Sardis, are the only three Republicans running, amid a democratic field of nine announced candidates. Each one briefly addressed about 100 area Republicans at a breakfast meeting, held last weekend at the Radisson Suites Inn on Washington Road.
Primary elections for the seat will be held in August.
Dooley, wife of University of Georgia Athletic Director Vince Dooley and a political newcomer, entered the race earlier this month, shortly after Burke County farmer, Cleve Mobley, withdrew from the running. She ran unsuccessfully for a state house seat more than a decade ago.
She said her campaign will center on preserving social security, championing economic development and lowering taxes.
"We have got to take our conservative values to Washington," she said.
Burns, a former Screven County Commissioner who recently announced his plans to run for the 12th District seat, said he would push for new jobs, fair trade to protect Georgia farmers and enhanced education.
"I will represent every citizen," Burns said.
Regardless of who wins the Republican primaries, he told the audience, conservative support is a necessity.
Lovett, who has run twice unsuccessfully for the 11th Congressional District, said his main issues will be to bring transportation and infrastructure improvements to Georgia, while also working protect and improve funding for education.
The lines for the new district were created by the Democratic majority in the Georgia Legislature, which drew new congressional districts last year to reflect population shown in the 2000 census. The 12th District stretches from Athens south and east to take in parts of Augusta and Savannah.
Three times as many Democrats are in the race, including Charles Walker Jr., the son of the state Senate majority leader from Augusta; state Rep. Ben Allen, also of Augusta; and Savannah Mayor Floyd Adams.
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