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College student allowed to run for city council

Mary_Pat Hector becomes youngest woman in Georgia to run for city council

Mary-Pat Hector becomes youngest woman in Georgia to run for city council

 

Mary-Pat Hector, 19, made national headlines after the DeKalb County Elections Board decided her age would not be an issue while running for a city council seat in Stonecrest.

Hector had her application challenged by District 4 opponent George Turner under the Georgia statute O.C.G.A-45-2-1 which states individuals must be at least 21 to run for public office. However, Senate Bill 208 states that candidates must be of voting age to be qualified to run, which Hector is.

The decision by the board allowed Hector to become the youngest woman in Georgia to compete for elected office.

“I am honored and thrilled with the decision recognizing my right to run for Stonecrest City Council in DeKalb County. Justice was served, and the law prevailed,” Hector said. “The board’s decision is a testament to the inclusion of the next generation’s participation in the democratic process. As the youngest woman to be eligible to run for City Council in the history of the State of Georgia, I thank the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections and those who stand with me and support my candidacy.”

Hector has been involved in youth and social activism since an early age. She is also the national youth director for Al Sharpton’s National Action Now. Stonecrest will hold its elections March 21. Last year residents voted to create the new city.

Many candidates running for city council have focused their campaigns on economic development. Hector said she will focus more on issues facing young adults in the area.

“Certain things need to be addressed before economic development can come about,” Hector said in a recent press conference. “I believe in companies will not come [to Stonecrest] if their children are not properly educated and we need to fix what’s happening in Stonecrest.”

Hector also said public safety in Stonecrest was an issue she wanted to address.

“I’m running as a candidate for the city of Stonecrest because I understand the importance of ensuring the people of Stonecrest are thought about before decisions are made,” Hector said. “It’s not just about economic development. We need to keep the people in mind and that’s why I decided to run.”

Stonecrest is an area of close to 50,000 residents. Hector, who attends Spelman college, said she’s ready to continue her campaign after the board’s decision.

“I look forward to continuing my campaign and serving as the first council member for the fourth district of the city of Stonecrest,” Hector said.

Also running in the District 4 Stonecrest City Council race is Geraldine Champion, Jesse Cunningham and Jonathan Phillips.

 

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