State Senate District 25 candidate Darrell Black is poised to help Georgia Democrats take back the State Senate in January 2013, but will have to defeat a political newcomer — Republican Burt Jones on November 6.
The newly configured State Senate District 25 consists of Baldwin, Butts, Greene, Jasper, Morgan, Putnam, and parts of Jones (6 precincts), Walton (4 precincts) and Bibb County (3 precincts).
Some of the major areas of Senate District 25 include the following: Milledgeville, Jackson, Greensboro, Monticello, Madison, Eatonton and most areas of Jones County including some areas of Gray, North Macon along with unincorporated North Bibb.
Black had told WMAZ-TV back on August 9 that he wants to address his district’s unemployment rate.
“It’s so primary that I can’t imagine what’s secondary,” Black said. “Milledgeville has one of the highest unemployment of any city this size in the State of Georgia. We’ve been hit hard, public sector, private sector. We’ve been hit on both sides.”
Residents who live in Baldwin County have been directly affected by conservative policies from the Georgia General Assembly that contributed to numerous layoffs, furloughs and closings at various state institutions such as Central State Hospital and Baldwin State Prison along with the loss of hundreds of jobs over the past decade.
Black also told WMAZ-TV: “We have to get everybody working together, across party lines, across racial lines, across economic lines,” Black said. “It’s going to take a total group effort.”
Baldwin County has voted Democrat in many past elections, but in recent election cycles, local conservatives have been able to have success via Rusty Kidd and Johnny Grant.
Even though Black’s state senate district may lean Republican, a strong progressive base still exists that can push Darrell Black to victory in November.
In 2008, numerous areas had voted for President Barack Obama.
The largest population center of State Senate District 25 is Baldwin County. For Darrell Black, doing well in Baldwin County, which has approximately 21,000 registered voters, can provide a pathway for victory for the Milledgeville Democrat and business owner.
In 2008, Barack Obama had won Baldwin County, but was able to garner at least 40 or more percent of the vote in East Baldwin 44%, North Milledgeville 44%, and West Baldwin 47%.
In the conservative Meriweather precinct, Obama had received 37 percent of the vote on Election Day 2008.
Outside of Baldwin County, Black will have to be competitive in at least four of the eight counties in order to defeat Jackson native (Butts County) and former Georgia Bulldogs’ football player Burt Jones.
Butts County is significantly smaller than Baldwin and is virtually in a four-way tie with Putnam, Morgan, and Greene counties in regard to population and voter registrations. Technically, Butts is the second-largest population center in State Senate District 25.
Milledgeville’s Darrell Black has an opportunity to do well in some areas of Butts County and appeal to the citizens with a strong progressive message.
Butts County’s largest and most progressive precinct is the Jackson-based Butts County Community Center voting location. On Election Day 2008, 58 percent of the voters cast a ballot for President Barack Obama.
Butts County’s Jenkinsburg voting location with approximately 2,000 registered voters does tilt conservative, but 35 percent of voters had cast a ballot for Obama on Election Day 2008.
Monticello is Jasper County’s largest and most progressive voting precinct.
However, only 51 percent of Monticello had voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but this rural community has a minority population of approximately 63 percent and a 56 percent black population.
It begs the question about voter participation and voter apathy.
Darrell Black being able to build coalitions and bring forward a progressive message could help bring more folks from Jasper County to the polls which could the gap that conservatives built over the past couple of election cycles.
Greene County also provides the Milledgeville Democrat an opportunity to do well.
Even though approximately one-third of the registered voters are from the ultra-conservative and largest precinct in Greene County–Old Salem voting precinct, Black should be encouraged that five of the eight Greene County precincts were won by President Obama in 2008.
Greensboro, a city of about 6,000 and majority black population of 60 percent is the second largest voting precinct in Greene County and 70 percent of Greensboro had voted for Obama in 2008.
The following Greene County voting locations are also where Obama did well in 2008: 54% Woodville , 58% Union Point, 57% Siloam, and 48% White Plains.
If elected in November, Darrell Black would have to deal with some serious issues in the 2013 General Assembly.
Black has run for office previously in 2009 for a Milledgeville-based State House seat and had made statements about various issues that he deemed important.
In regard to health care, he had said the following:
…”I believe that all Georgians should have access to health care…. I will work with the Congress and the Governor to ensure that all Georgians can have access to affordable health care and that insurance companies will not be able to deny you for having pre-existing conditions. I don’t believe that anyone should be denied the basic right to have the care they need….”
The Medicaid expansion is the engine of the new federal health care law. Without state legislators willingness to make the Affordable Health Care Act work for all Georgians, the law’s goal of extending health care coverage to uninsured Georgians and most Americans would be a difficult goal to attain via conservative obstructionism.
In regard to education, he had said the following:
…”As a former teacher, I know the difficulties in providing quality education with limited budgets and overcrowded classrooms. I will work to ensure that Georgia schools get back to being ahead of the curve instead of trailing behind. This entails providing schools with the funds they need to hire and maintain quality teachers and to supply students with the materials they need to succeed. For too long, our representatives have overlooked education. If elected, I will fight to ensure that this oversight never happens again…”