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District 95 Democratic candidates head to runoff
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Democratic incumbent Rep. Toney Collins (D-Conyers) was the top vote getter at 43.1 percent, followed by challenger Pam Dickerson, with 33.4 percent.Collins said he thought the key to making the runoff was residents voting based on his record, not just promises."They know me from the past, know personally how I helped them as a state representative. I also have the advantage of being incumbent, so they see things I’ve done, compared to people who haven’t done anything," Collins said. "Experience is a great teacher. My integrity and my results will bring my lupus and kidney disease bill to forefront."Among some people, Collins has a reputation for not showing up to events or being present; however, he said while he’s not always visible he believes he’s accessible."I’m not a person that’s always visible. I’m not trying to get pictures taken and not just trying to get my face seen. But anytime when someone would call or e-mail or come to office to talk about a bill, I’ve always been there," he said. He also said the death of his father a short time ago may have led to some missed e-mails and phone calls recently.Despite making the runoff, Collins said he realizes a lot of his constituents still don’t know what he’s done during his term."I’m letting people know I now have experience in pushing out legislation. I’ve never been a guy to boast about anything, I’m just a quiet guy trying to help people out," he said.Dickerson, a former Delta flight attendant, said she and her team tried to hit every neighborhood and send out mailers to spread her message."And we’re going to continue to work hard. I felt his being the incumbent had something to do with (his finishing first," she said. "I’m glad to be engaged and to return phone calls and be available, something I did not see the opposition do. But this is not about the opposition. It’s about the people. I’m looking forward to winning it."