Three Columbia County men have expressed their intention to run for the 24th District state Senate seat.
Former state Rep. Bill Jackson announced Wednesday that he'll join the race to fill the seat currently held by Jim Whitehead, who is resigning to run for the U.S. Congressional seat that was previously held by the late Charlie Norwood.
"My roots go deep here in this section of Georgia. I believe I can help," said Jackson, an eight-term state House veteran. "I don't want to sit on the side of the road and watch the world go by. I want to get into the battle for you and for good."
Jackson joins Brett McGuire, the recently resigned interim director of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, in the race. McGuire, who managed Whitehead's 2004 and 2006 campaigns, announced March 21 that he'll vie to fill the state Senate seat of his mentor.
Lee Benedict Jr. said he plans to announce his candidacy in the race after Masters Week. Benedict, a learning specialist at Butler High School, said if elected, he'll try to eliminate the bureaucracy many Georgia families face in healthcare.
"The Lee's three, that's my biggy ... I'm for limited government," he said, adding he'd like to see more local government control. "I am for limited government, personal responsibility. Taxes, I never liked them, never will. Just put more control in the hands of county, village, town city folks."
McGuire, retired plant manager of Solo Cup Co., said transportation is a large part of his platform and that he'll try to continue funneling state funds to the 24th district for transportation projects. McGuire said he's also against the idea of water being drawn and diverted from the Savannah River to Atlanta.
McGuire was instrumental in incorporating the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, to become an entity separate from the Metro Augusta chamber.
Jackson said he staunchly supports law enforcement and senior citizens, teachers and education.
"I believe education is the light of the world," Jackson said. "It is an absolute deterrent from crime and poverty in the home."
The three men will face off in the special election for the state Senate seat on June 19. District 24 includes Columbia, Glascock, Lincoln, McDuffie and Wilkes counties and parts of Elbert and Warren counties.
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