Sherri L. Washington wants to be the Democratic nominee for State Representative - House District 94 because she feels it is her duty.
The 40-year-old Conyers attorney considers volunteerism a hallmark of her campaign.
"Being involved in the community is very, very important to me," Washington said. "I believe to whom much is given, much is required."
When news spread incumbent Rep. Randal Mangham was not seeking re-election but running for governor, people urged her to run. She slept and prayed on it. The next day she filed.
"People have been telling me my background is compelling, but I tell them I've just been putting two feet together and doing what I need to do," Washington said.
She had a daughter while in college and sometimes worked three jobs with no car. Often she leaned on family. Today, she has a master's in public administration and law degree.
Her initial brush with politics came when she interned for Savannah Mayor Floyd Adams Jr.
Washington said she is the best candidate because she values hard work and relates to everyday people.
"I worked at Air Tran and city of Savannah at the same time," she said. "I worked at Wendy's and Krystal at the same time. You have to do what you have to do to take care of family."
Six years ago Washington moved to Rockdale to care for an ill pregnant sister. She joined the local NAACP chapter, which led to an appointment on Rockdale's Parks and Recreation commission.
She volunteers with the Barksdale Boys and Girls Club board and the Rockdale County Democratic Party.
Her priorities parallel what she hears from voters - schools needs overhauling, jobs are scarce and traffic is annoying.
"Everyone is disappointed in Georgia's education system, from (students) being taught to test and not learn to the disciplinary procedures," Washington said.
She insists more can be done creatively to increase state revenue. Regional light rail could promote Georgia globally and save travel time for tourists, she said. Rockdale's new tennis center also could be a revenue booster through tournaments, she said.
"We have to bring people in to shop and spend money so the cost for infrastructure is not on the backs of residents," Washington said.
If she wins, she said her inclusive leadership style will bring residents together at roundtable discussions.
"I am just like everyone else," Washington said. "The attorney title is just my last job."