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May 21, 2014

Taylor nips challenger

THOMASVILLE — The incumbent state House District 173 lawmaker said winning the Tuesday primary was a long, hard battle.

Darlene Taylor, Thomasville, received 51.91 percent of the vote, or 1,907 votes, to 1,767 votes, 48.09 percent, for Republican challenger Don Clark.

Clark, a Grady County resident, said he is disappointed at losing, but he had a lot of good people helping him.

“I’m very proud we kept the campaign about me and positive,” Clark said.

Taylor, who said she is glad the primary is over, expressed appreciation for her supporters.

The incumbent faces opposition in November from Democrat Keith Jenkins Sr., a Thomasville resident.

“I have a passion for the people,” Jenkins told the Times-Enterprise Wednesday.

The 44-year-old educator and minister works in in-school suspension at Scott Elementary School.

“I believe elected officials are elected to represent the people, not themselves,” Jenkins explained.

Jenkins said that if he is elected, he will conduct quarterly town hall meetings to receive constituents’ input.

His website would make proposed House bills available for constituents, who would be able to express on-line how they wanted Jenkins to vote on the legislation.

Taylor and Clark expressed concern about low voter turnout on Tuesday.

Clark, who was retrieving campaign signs in the Metcalfe area Wednesday afternoon, said the turnout might be attributed to the primary election being in May instead of in July. Also, Clark said, two hotly contested Decatur County races involving Democrat candidates cost Republican votes.

When asked if he will return to the political arena, Clark said he will “sort out what happened this time.”

Clark thinks the most valuable outcome of his campaign were the new friends he made.

Clark called Taylor Wednesday morning to congratulate her on her victory. “I wish him well and the best to him,” Taylor said.

Taylor said everyone should work together for the betterment of District 173 which includes Thomas, Grady and Decatur counties.

“We’re all the same,” she explained, pointing out the district’s three counties.

“ ... We need to all work together, and I intend to do that,” Taylor said.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.

 

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