Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes addressed local Democrats at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner of the Chattooga County Democrats at Pop’s Restaurant on Saturday evening. Governor Barnes was introduced by Summerville attorney Bobby Lee Cook who told the crowd of around 200 people that the state needed to elect a Democrat as the next governor. Also Chattooga County resident and former GEMA Director Gary McConnell took the podium to stump for Governor Barnes and urge Chattooga Democrats to vote for Barnes in the upcoming primary.
Governor Barnes, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to get his old job back, told those in attendance that after 8 years of loosing jobs and cuts to education, those two issues would be the focus of his administration if he is elected. Barnes quipped that "I am no saint and I have made mistakes" – but pledged to give the people of Georgia a honest and open administration if elected.
Barnes is facing some tough challenges from fellow Democrats including Attorney General Thurgood Baker and State Representative Debois Porter and former commander of the Georgia National Guard David Poythress.
Local political leaders including Commissioner Jason Winters, Tax Commissioner Kathy Brown, Representative Barbara Massey Reece, Probate Judge Jon Payne, School Board Member Eddie Massey and former State Court Solicitor and candidate for State Court Judge Tim Perry were all in attendance.