UPDATED 5:57 p.m. 2/9: ADDS current HD 75 map
Della Ashley has qualified as a Republican candidate in the Georgia House District 75 special election to be held March 21. The seat, which includes parts of Morrow and Jonesboro is open due to former Rep. Mike Glanton’s resignation.
Ashley, a self-employed nurse who has worked with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, is a longtime activist with the Clayton County Georgia Republican Party and the mother of CCGARP President Garrett Ashley.
“I really did the thing where you focus on your career and then you focus on your kids,” she said. “School, PTA.”
After a candidate forum hosted by Saving Our Sons at Anointed Vision of Hope Church in Riverdale Tuesday night, Ashley spoke with The Clayton Crescent about why she got into the race.
“Some of the things that I would like to bring would be more support of the crime [issue],” Ashley said, as well as “more support for nonprofit organizations that help people with addictions and mental health problems, too,” nothing that mental health and crime are often connected. “And I believe spiritually, too. I didn’t hear a lot about that tonight, but I think a lot of us believe spiritual issues are involved.”
The first mental health issue she would tackle if elected, Ashley said, are “Addressing problems with kids earlier on on a consistent basis. It’s hard to say if a certain piece of legislation would correct that, but that’s how I see it in our community.”
She said she hasn’t been watching the current legislative session much due to her busy schedule. Although the job doesn’t pay much, she said, “I’m really focused on serving and that’s why I became a nurse, was to serve people. I stayed at home with my kids to serve people, too, because that was better for my kids. So in relation to that, I would be willing to do that even to not do my self-employment as much, so I could spend more time keeping check of all the legislation.”
She thought some recent legislation brought by some kids was “pretty cool…it was about monitors on the school buses. Some students themselves brought that forth to the Capitol.”
Ashley also said she favors “funding outside of just government funding. Business organizations and those kinds of groups can be just as much help and benefit to programs in our community.”
As a Republican in deeply-blue Clayton County, Ashley hopes Glanton’s more conservative Democratic bent will help her in the newly-redrawn district.
“I hope it will,” she said. “Time will tell. I liked that he was a veteran.”
She says she’s “most likely” going to campaign door to door, which she said “really does help” people know about the new district lines.” Ashley urges people in District 75 to check their online voter registration and to check the new district map (below):
“They send cards if it changes, and I believe the elections department of the county has done that,” she said.
Drew Andrews and Eric Bell, both Democrats, also have qualified for the March 21 special election.