On Friday, March 7, Diane B. Evans qualified as a Democrat and will face Republican incumbent Jesse Stone this November for the State Senate 23 seat in the Georgia General Assembly.
A win by Evans in November can help wrestle a supermajority away from the Republicans in the Georgia Senate and block conservative efforts to change Georgia's Constitution in the short-term and long-term.
Reapportionment by Republicans in the summer of 2011 made State Senate 23 a larger district. State Senate 23 is now an eleven-county district and includes the following counties:
Columbia (11 precincts)
Richmond (11 precincts)
Emanuel (7 precincts)
Columbia and Richmond are the largest population centers in the district, but there are several counties and cities such as Wrightsville, Thomson, Wrens, Wadley, Louisville, Warrenton, Slyvania, Millen and Waynesboro that have a strong progressive base where Evans can be successful.
Evans is one of a handful of Democrats to challenge Republican incumbents in 2014. Over the past decade, Senate Republicans have slowly gained control of the General Assembly, but recent defections by Democrats over the past few years have made it easier for conservatives to gain a supermajority.
Republicans currently hold 39 of the 56 seats and have a supermajority in the state Senate for the first time since Reconstruction.
What does this mean? It means that Republicans can pass constitutional amendments without needing any votes from Democratic senators. Amendments require two-thirds’ majority of both chambers and the consent of voters to become law.
Jesse Stone currently serves a Chairman of the Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee and is vice-chairman of the Banking and Financial Institution committees. Additionally, Stone served for one term as the mayor of Waynesboro in Burke County from 2003 to 2007.
Evans, the East Central Georgia Democrat is also the chairperson of the Jefferson County Democratic Party and State Committee Member for the Democratic Party of Georgia.
Evans is also a former City Clerk of Wadley, Georgia and a former Public Relations intern for the City of Wrens and worked as Administrative Assistant to Screven County’s government. She is a native of Screven County and has lived in Jefferson County for the past thirty years.
She is minister, serving as a pastor of the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Sylvania, Georgia and moderator of the Fifth District of the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Association.