Georgia Democrat Teresa Tomlinson outlines bid for US Senate

(Teresa Tomlinson for Senate)
Updated: Feb. 6, 2020 at 3:09 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Former Columbus mayor and senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson made several stops in Southeast Georgia Thursday. She is one of three Democrats running to challenge incumbent US Senator David Perdue in November.

The May primary presents an interesting dynamic; Tomlinson campaigned for her opponents, Jon Ossoff and Sarah Riggs Amico, in previous races and now is running against them. She said her experience as Columbus mayor separates her from each of them this time though.

She recently wrapped up 8 years as Columbus mayor, becoming the first woman to do so in the city’s history.

“I’m the only one who’s ever won an election, and I’m the only one who’s ever served in elected office,” said Tomlinson. “I know what it means to expend the political capital, and unless you can speak with that kind of experience, you just cannot successfully defeat an incumbent.”

She is also the only one of the three living in South Georgia. She hopes that resonates with voters outside of Atlanta.

“Democrats and Republicans have segregated the state into Atlanta and 'other,’” Tomlinson said. “I am here with this campaign to bring us together, to weave it together.”

On the issues, like her competitors, Tomlinson supports an expansion of Medicare. However, she does not want to eliminate private insurance.

“We also have some 162 million people in the US who have private insurance and many of those are quite happy with it,” Tomlinson said. “If they aren’t, then they can get Medicare on the exchange once we put it on the exchange.”

Tomlinson supports gun legislation to strengthen background checks and ban assault rifles. On criminal justice reform, she supports eliminating for-profit prisons and the federal death penalty.

The former mayor pushed back on the President’s suggestion Democrats favor open borders. She does support allowing DACA recipients to become citizens. WTOC asked her how she would fare against attacks from the most powerful man in the world should she win May’s primary.

“I assure you this: Donald Trump’s propaganda will not affect me,” Tomlinson said. “The truth will win in the end.”

Tomlinson’s latest campaign finance filing shows she’s raised over $1.4 million through individual contributions. Like her opponents, she pledged to not take corporate PAC money.

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