As part of The News' last minute election coverage, below is a Q&A with the candidates for the District 113 state represenative seat, a race that will be decided in the primary.
(To see the campaign contributions from these and other state candidats see this article.)
Collins could not be reached for answers.
Pam Dickerson (I)
Q1. Why should the Democratic voters of District 113 vote for you over the other candidates?
A: The constituents should vote for me because I have successfully represented the District for the past two years. I have represented the community for the last two years, by specifically addressing their needs, by presenting bills that affected them directly. For example, HB 680,which would make Photo-shopping our children's face on pornographic sites a misdemeanor. This is also known as cyber bullying, which impacted a High School student in Newton County. I have partnered with Montlick & Associates to present anti-bullying rallies across the metro area to establish a safer school experience for our children. Developed a partnership with community, business and local hospitals and health departments to bring a free and vital Women's Health and Wellness Day to Newton and Rockdale counties. I have also voted against bills that will impact our education systems. I have been accountable, responsible and available.
Q2. If re-elected, what would you hope to accomplish over the next two years?
A: I would like to continue my work addressing health care, education and public safety. But most importantly, I want to make sure that the people in my district continue to collaborate with me to help make district 113 a great place to live, work and play. In that respect, I plan to continue to work with the Chamber of Commerce and the business community to enhance our workforce development programs in the counties.
Q 3.In a background check a tax lien was found in the amount of $1,105 from the City of Los Angeles. Dickerson addressed the lien in the following answer.
A: To address the monies owed, that bill was paid to the City of Los Angeles. I sold a house in Los Angeles, and the means in which the taxes are paid are different. That tax lien was an item that was supposed to have been taken care of through the sale of the property. It was property I inherited and I did not know the taxes weren't paid. As soon as, I was informed of this issue, the taxes were paid and a release letter was mailed to me.
Q1 . Why should the Democratic voters of District 113 vote for you over the other candidates?
A: The Democratic voters of the newly formed State House District 113 should vote for me because I'm the most qualified. I know the district and the people in it. 90 percent of this district is in Newton County, from Harristown to State Highway 212 and all of Brown Bridge Road. All of Salem Road from Stewart Road to Sockwell Road. The entire City of Porterdale, the communities of Almon, Stansells, Buckcreek, Beaverdam, Sandhill to Oakhill and many many more neighborhoods that make up the 113th. I not only know where these neighborhoods are but I know some of the people in them. I live in Newton County, not Rockdale. This is my home and with more than 90 percent of this district in Newton County we deserve to be represented by someone who not only knows this community but loves it and its people. My association and experience in working with local civic organizations and government officials and the people, we here in Newton County love the small town feel. Every survey done in the last 20 years says, lets try and preserve as much of the home town atmosphere as we can with Smart Growth and the 2050 plan. And a State Representative that's not a stranger. A person you can go see and talk to like former State Legislator the honorable Donald Ballard, or Representative Denny Dobbs, those legislators were available to the people (and still are). I know many legislators and have worked with some along with my husband Forrest; we wrote the Forrest Preacher Sawyer highway designation bill and passed it along to former State Rep. Jim Stokes. I am the most qualified not only because I live here, I know Newton County. I've been here all my married life more than 25 years in the heart of the 113th district and its people. I will listen to the people of the 113th., I will be accessible, I will open up my doors at the radio station for a temporary office in downtown Covington, We don't need strangers from somewhere else representing Newton County. I work in Rockdale County. I'm there every day and will represent the people of the 113th that are in Rockdale County. Lets keep Newton County moving by electing someone who will stay in touch with the people who elected them, the home town candidate.
Q2. If elected, what would you hope to accomplish over the next two years?
A: When I'm elected, I ‘m going to find out about funds available that are obviously being held up for easing the log jam of traffic on Salem, Brown Bridge, Crowell Road and Hwy. 81, Flat Shoals and the ByPass. If you don't live in this county, you don't care about the traffic problems we have. But if you drove in District 113 every day, as most Newton Citizens do, you would know. I've lived here all my married life, more than 25 years. I know where the problems are. Neither of my opponents are from Newton County. They have to get people to show them around when they come here. We have heard for the last four or five years, that a light was going to be put here, or the road would be widened, nothing has happened other than more cars on the road and longer waits on our roadways. I will work get the funds that are available for the western end of Newton County. No one can effectively solve problems from afar, when they don't even know their way around the district. I will get at the forefront of the Salem Overlay plans, and work with the Blue River Watch programs that put businesses along the banks of the Yellow River, from where the Yellow River crosses Hwy. 138 in Rockdale and flows through Newton County, possibly with canoeing and kayaking businesses along the way to Porterdale. We need someone in office that lives in Newton County and know the people they represent, not someone you see only at voting time. I will preserve the integrity of Historic Salem Camp Ground when the widening of Salem Road begins. I will stand up for Newton County. I won't be a stranger in my own district. I am The home town candidate that cares about what happens in the 113th District where we, the citizens, live, work, shop and educate our children.
Q3. In a background check an eviction from Fulton County in 2005 and a tax lien was found in the amount of $27,718.66 from Newton County - which is paid. Sawyer addressed the issues in the following answer.
A: Eviction: A family member came to me for help in getting housing for his family. I helped them to obtain housing for his family. This was over 10 years ago.
Tax liens: My mother passed in 2010. The property mentioned was put in my and my sisters name as many families do. Taxes were owed and paid, it did cause a ripple effect. All taxes are paid on the DeKalb and Newton properties.