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State Senate 23: Diane Evans speaks with retired educators in Wrightsville

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On Tuesday, May 6, State Senate 23 candidate Diane B. Evans visited the city of Wrightsville and talked to the Johnson County Retired Educators Association.

Wrightsville is Johnson's largest city and has an African-American population of approximately sixty percent, but conservative candidates and incumbents have been successful in previous election cycles.

Evans hopes to change that trend with her candidacy.

In the Georgia General Assembly, Republicans introduced and passed legislation this past year which will have a impact on public schools and public places in general.

One example is House Bill 60, or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 -- which opponents have nicknamed the "guns everywhere bill" -- specifies where Georgia residents can carry weapons. Included are provisions that allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of airports.

Even though the progressive Democrat doesn't have an opponent for the May 20 primary election, she is touring her eleven county state Senate district in an effort to hear from her constituents on various issues.

Evans will face incumbent Republican Jesse Stone in November.

Evans encouraged people in the audience from the Retired Educators Association about the importance of voting along with having someone in the General Assembly who truly supports public education.

Republicans such as incumbent Jesse Stone has supported legislation over the past few years of cutting public education funding and voting to reduce the number of early voting days in Georgia.

Evans is one of the few rural Democrats in Georgia who is challenging Republican incumbents in 2014.

Over the past decade, Senate Republicans have 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.

Columbia and Richmond are the largest population centers in the district, State Senate 23 encompasses eleven counties and cities such as Wrightsville, Thomson, Wrens, Wadley, Louisville, Warrenton, Slyvania, Millen and Waynesboro.

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