12th District Congressional candidates on Georgia primaries

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - We're one week away from Georgia's 2018 primaries. One of the most contested races is for the 12th District Congressional seat.

Four people want to unseat Representative Rick Allen. We spoke with all five candidates Tuesday to learn more about why they're in the race.

Whether you vote in the Democratic or Republican primary in the 12th District, you've got choices. Rick Allen is seeking his third term as a Republican representing a district that stretches from Augusta to Douglas to the outskirts of Savannah.

"Everywhere I go in the district, the confidence among businesses seems to be high," Rep. Rick Allen, Incumbent, said. "Of course, the 12th District is the envy of the rest of the county. We've got a lot going on here."

Allen says agriculture, jobs, and the economy tops his list of priorities.

"I went to Congress to get people back to work because I had that opportunity when I was in the business world, and there's no greater joy in the world than to see people get a good job and have the career and dignity they deserve," he said.

Eugene Yu is facing Allen for the nomination for the third time.

"I'm not saying whether he's done a good job or a bad job," Yu said. "Just that I would be much better. The most important complaint I hear from constituents is they don't see him. You only see the congressman when it's election time."

Three candidates square off on the Democratic side. Augusta businessman Robert Ingham also has issues with Allen's presence in the district.

"He's not acting like a public servant. He's above to local issues," Ingham said.

Statesboro attorney Francys Johnson says Georgia's 12th District is a political battleground.

"I deeply believe the citizens of the 12th District deserve to have an accountable voice in Washington, D.C. Rick Allen is not accountable. He's been silent, he's been complacent. We need a champion in D.C. who's going to put the 12th District first. That means putting the people first - not party, not even the president," Johnson said.

Roofer and political newcomer Trent NeSmith says he's running against Donald Trump as well as Rick Allen.

"Being a Democrat, I was just extremely motivated by the unfolding of events in 2016," NeSmith said.

NeSmith says Congress needs people from all economic levels and backgrounds.

"I just see a need for reliability between the constituents and the politicians. If we don't restore that, we're doomed," he said.

If no Democratic candidate gets 50 percent plus one of the vote, the top two face each other in a runoff on July 24. The winner would face either Allen or Yu in November.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.