Local businesswoman and Democratic challenger Diane Adoma announced she is putting her hat in the ring for Ga. House District 91.
Adoma, a native of Bainbridge, Ga. and a resident of Lithonia, owns several franchises with her husband Osei, including an H&R Block franchise in Conyers.
After being a nonstop volunteer and community advocate for four years - she was recently awarded the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce's Volunteer of the Year honor - Adoma said she was approached by long-time residents in the community and asked to run for the Ga. House of Representatives.
One of her areas she's most passionate about and she sees as crucial to the future of the community is the education system. In her role as a legislator, she said she would look for ways to keep funding in education and education programs.
"Education is the foundation and infrastructure of any society that wants to grow. We can't move forward if we're not graduating people to another level."
She said in a statement she believes "every child is entitled to a quality education and a safe environment as well as every business deserves growth opportunities." If elected, she said she would sponsor legislation that would bring appropriations and programs to both communities in Rockdale and DeKalb.
She added she wanted to be the representative for all the district's residents.
"It's very polarized now at the Capitol. That's not the way the founding fathers intended for the country to operate. There's supposed to be some give and take... The only way to change what's there now is to reach across the party lines and say even though we don't agree, here's the commonality."
"I want people to respect me for what I'm doing, not because of the title that I hold." She cited the example of local judges. "I respect all of them. But I more so respect what they're doing. That's the kind of respect I want in the community. Forget the title. Get in the trenches and help us move this forward."
Another priority is economic development and maintaining an environment conducive for small businesses to operate and stay in the community.
Supporting local libraries is also important to the community, she said. Libraries are often one of the few places the unemployed can get online access to look for jobs and the library provides a wide array of programs for children.
Adoma is currently the Rockdale United Way County Campaign Chair and is active with the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, where she was recently awarded as the James P. Culpepper, Jr Volunteer of the Year. She is also a graduate of Leaderhip Rockdale, president of Friends of the Salem Panola Library DeKalb County, board member of Conyers Rotary Club, president of Brooks Mill HOA, an affordable senior housing advocate and a youth mentor.
Adoma and her husband Osei are the parents of four adult children - including a pediatrician and Stanford University graduate, a consultant and Emory University graduate, a healthcare firm owner, and a Citadel graduate - and grandparents to five grandchildren.
Adoma qualified for the seat Thursday. She will face incumbent Rep. Dee-Dawkins Haigler, who qualified earlier in the week, in the May 20 Democratic primary.
Dawkins-Haigler will be running for her fourth term.