Overview:

You can watch a recording of the candidate forum, which was livestreamed by Phoenix Media (see livestream channel 2, "South Atlanta Political Debate 2022") and broadcast on WIGO-AM 1570.

Candidates in several races for the upcoming May 24 general primary election took part in a candidate forum hosted by WIGO-AM 1570 and Phoenix Media Group. Panelists included The Clayton Crescent’s executive editor and CEO, Robin Kemp; WIGO-Red Carpet Radio’s Robbie Ray, and The Youth Voter Project’s Kito Cody. The moderator was Linda Pritchett, a candidate for City Council District 7 in South Fulton.

You can watch a recording of the candidate forum, which was livestreamed by Phoenix Media (see livestream channel 2, “South Atlanta Political Debate 2022”) and broadcast on WIGO-AM 1570.

Two separate rounds were held to accommodate all the candidates.

Candidates for office in the first round included (L-R): Missy Moore, Georgia PSC 3; Attania Jean-Funny, GA House 78; Rep. Roger Bruce (D-61), incumbent; Monique McCoy, GA House 61, challenger; and Valencia Stovall, U.S. House District 5.

Those who took part in the first round included Valencia Stovall, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives 5th District seat against incumbent Nikema Williams; Monique McCoy and Rep. Roger Bruce, who are running in Georgia House District 61; Attania Jean-Funny, who is running for Georgia House District 78 against incumbent Rep. Demetrius Douglas; and Missy Moore, who is running for the Georgia Public Service Commission District 3 seat and who is the first Hispanic woman to run statewide in Georgia.

Candidates for office in the second round included (L-R): Tamara Johnson-Shealey, U.S. Senate (challenging incumbent Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock) and GA Rep. Lester Jackson, running for GA Commissioner of Labor.

The second round included Tamara Johnson-Shealey, who is running against Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock, and Georgia Sen. Lester Jackson, who is running for Georgia Labor Commissioner.

Candidates answered questions about warehouse development, airport environmental impacts, the jet fuel sales tax, the Department of Labor’s failure to resolve unemployment claims in a timely fashion during the COVID-19 crisis, reparations for descendants of slaves, healthcare reform, and the transgender sports participation ban in Georgia schools.

Slideshow: Candidate Forum

At one point, Bruce and McCoy got into a heated exchange over warehouses taxes on Fulton Industrial Boulevard.

McCoy pointed to a bill that Bruce had written and that passed during the 2017-2018 regular session, HB 869, saying it gave warehouse owners a tax-free business break. Bruce replied that the bill did just the opposite, repealing previous legislation that had passed just before Maynard Jackson was elected mayor of Atlanta.

Bruce said business owners on Fulton Industrial in the 1970s did not want to pay taxes to independent school districts, meaning Atlanta Public Schools.

McCoy then read part of the bill. Procedurally, any amendment before the Georgia Assembly contains references to the bill it is amending.

HB 869 describes what was in the previous bill and repeals it in Section One, and calls for voters to hold a referendum on whether to put that repeal into effect in Section Two. Section Three also repeals any other laws that might conflict with the repeal.

Johnson-Shealey said she was running for Senate on the sole issue of reparations. She said Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock had yet to sign a reparations bill. She proposed a federal reparations agency, an idea that drew murmurs of approval from the crowd.

“You know where I got that idea?” Johnson-Shealey told the Clayton Crescent after the forum. “A white man in South Carolina.”

Organizers said they put together the panel because they felt Atlanta media outlets were not paying enough attention to races that affect Clayton County and the Southern Crescent.

Early/advance/absentee voting starts May 2.

More to come.

Robin Kemp

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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  1. I really enjoyed this recap! It was a pleasure serving on the panel with you! This type of civic engagement is what we really need to be able to intelligently choose our elected officials.