Neighbors face off in state house race

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - The political challenges in Atlanta prompted plenty of lawmakers to leave the Georgia General Assembly. Two candidates from the same Brooklet neighborhood are vying for the Ga. House of Representative District 158 seat, which is part of Bulloch and Bryan County.

WTOC caught up with the two candidates, Tom McAlwee and Jan Tankersley. They stood outside the same precinct, courting last minute votes.

"I want to go to Atlanta because people are hurting. We've got too much unemployment," said McAlwee.

"I can't promise that I can fix everything, but I've been well prepared through 10 years on the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners," said Tankersley.

Tankersley sees her political experience as a plus.

"I think it's good when you can get somebody who's been a public servant not a politician," McAlwee told WTOC. McAlwee points proudly to this, his first ever campaign.

"Career politicians are invested in government. That's why they stay in government. They're part of the process of government," he explained.

The ironic thing is the race between two Bulloch County republicans could be decided in the north Bryan County part of this district. Voters there have county commission and school board races that Bulloch County voters don't have to draw them to the polls.

In a modern age of mudslinging, the two neighbors have run clean campaigns.

"I don't think people like that. I think they want to hear about the issues and how you can correct what we're facing," Tankersley said.

"If Jan's the best candidate, we'll find out today. If I'm the best, hey we'll find out today," said McAlwee.

Both hope the winner can go to the legislature and be part of the political solution and not the political problem.

The winner of Tuesday night's primary will not face democratic opposition in November. McAlwee or Tankersley will suceed long-time representative Bob Lane.

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