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May 20 Primary Election Guide
House District 113 Democratic primary candidates Rep. Pamela Dickerson (incumbent) and Sharon Sawyer

May 20 is the determining election for each of these contested local races, except the BOC Post 2 Democratic primary. The winning Democratic nominee in that race will face incumbent Republican candidate JaNice Van Ness in the November. All candidates listed alphabetically.

Polls open 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20. Voters will need to go to their local polls on to vote, NOT 1400 Parker Road (that was the location of Early Voting, which ended Friday). To find your polling station, go to the Rockdale County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office at or call 770-278-7333.

Check for the latest results after the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20.

Board of Education, Post 1 (nonpartisan)

Jim McBrayer (incumbent)
Age: 65
City: Conyers
Profession: retired teacher of 39 years, 22 years in RCPS
Previous elected office or leadership positions: Rockdale school board member for four years, Chairman for two years, Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, Rockdale Rotary Club, Rockdale Leadership Collaborative
What would you bring to this position: I am the only member of the Board of Education who comes from a background in education. I believe that this perspective is a valuable addition to the Board. My teaching experience in addition to the expertise of the other members gives us a good blend for leadership.
Three most important issues: Besides experience in education, I am able to provide stability and continuity to the Board of Education. Some of our neighboring systems have dealt with accreditation problems. Most of the time these problems could be traced back to a dysfunctional Board of Education. We do not have that problem in Rockdale County. The Board received the GSBA's highest distinction by being recognized as a "Quality Board." The RCPS system received one of the highest ratings from the AdvancEd accreditation evaluation team and some of the highest marks for leadership which includes the Superintendent and the Board of Education. I am proud to be a part of this collective team. A vote for Jim McBrayer is a vote for experience in education and a vote for stability and continuity for the school board. Lastly, I would like to make a commitment to help restore the 180 instructional day calendar as well as the 190 work day calendar for the teachers.
For more:

Alberteen Young
Age: 56
City: Conyers
Profession: Certified Public Accountant
Previous elected office or leadership positions: Director of Budget Development and Control for Fulton County Schools; President, Lewis Business Services, Inc.; Major, U. S. Army.
What you would bring to this position: Knowledge and experience obtained during 10 year tenure at the Fulton County Board of Education controlling and reporting on budget exceeding $400 million, a budget encompassing all aspects of a school district including recommending tax rates, budget cuts and transfers, monitoring capital improvement programs, staffing requirements, grants, school and instructional funding, etc. Also over 10 years financial/budget management and auditing of federal programs, providing accounting, advisory and tax services to small businesses gives me a financial intuitiveness not common to most individuals.
Three most important issues: 1) Ensure students are getting a quality education regardless of common core and inadequate standards and reverse the negative trends the district is experiencing in reading, writing and math in certain grade levels when tested. 2) Provide more equitable representation on the Board for the 85 percent minority student population. 3) Collaborate with other stakeholders at various levels of government to improve Georgia's educational ratings when compared to the rest of the nation.
For more:


Board of Commissioners Post 2 (Democrat)

Josie Dean
Age: 54
City of residence: Conyers
Profession: minister and daycare owner
Previous elected office or leadership positions: SPLOST Citizens' Oversight Committee and subcommittees for 911/Fire Rescue/RCSO and Transportation
What would you bring to this position: I would give this office back to the citizens and would bring a level head. I'm not looking for fame, fortune or money. Somebody's got to have the concerns of the people. To give people back a voice in local government. Common sense leadership.
Three most important issues: To bring economic development to Rockdale County. Bring Rockdale County and City of Conyers closer together. To bring two more commissioner positions to the board.
For more:

Arlan Gibson
Age: 65
City: Conyers
Profession: former Fulton deputy and state corrections officer, Army veteran
Previous elected office or leadership positions: Working on helping form a Veteran's Court in Probate Court; member of Rockdale Rotary, 100 Black Men of America, and the Fountain Crest Homeowners Association; previously ran for Macon mayoral Republican nomination
What would you bring to this position: I think I would bring leadership as a consensus person and a team player who wants to bring government cooperation. I would bring a sense of teamwork so we can get things done. I believe in cooperation amongst the commissioners. I don't make many promises. What I can promise is I'll work my hardest to earn the respect and allegiance of Rockdale County citizens.
Three most important issues: Public safety. I believe that if we have public safety and a low rate of crime, that encourages business. Recruiting business is going to be tantamount to bringing Rockdale County to the economic levels we want it to be. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Affordable housing for seniors.
For more:

Doreen L. Williams
Age: 63
City of residence: Conyers
Profession: Educator of 30 years, retired in 2012
Previous runs for office or leadership positions: Ran for Georgia State Legislature, District 92 in 2012; currently serve on the Board of Directors for View Point Health; currently Director of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; former Chair of the Rockdale County Democratic Party, currently on leave of absence.
What you would bring to this position: I see a need for some change in the County Commission with a person who can mediate and bring a calm voice of reason. My previous community service has allowed me to practice and refine the process of gathering information, sticking to the facts and using a fair, rational approach to making decisions. Reaching out to the community of people who will be impacted by the decisions is a key point of leadership that I can provide.
Three most important issues: 1) Job creation and economic development: While a county commissioner does not directly create jobs, they can facilitate an environment conducive to business expansion and attraction of new businesses to the county. The creation of tax allocation districts, community improvement districts, and opportunity zones as well as other incentives provide possibilities to accomplish these purposes. 2) Balanced, fair budget: Rockdale County has a responsibility to adopt a budget that is fair to all departments, that is balanced, and that provides the services that a government ought to be able to provide and must provide according to law. This can be achieved by my listening to county employees, constituents, and local business leaders. 3) Public safety: Every citizen of Rockdale County and every visitor to the county deserves to feel and be safe while they are in their homes, places of businesses, or recreational facilities. Working closely with the sheriff's department and fire department is key.
For more:


State House District 113 (Democrat)

Pamela Dickerson (incumbent)
Age: 61
City: Conyers
Profession: flight attendant, business woman
Previous elected office or leadership positions: Running for third term as State House Representative; board member for Rolling Ridge Homeowners Association, United Way Advisory Board member, graduate of Leadership Rockdale, Rockdale Rotary member, Rockdale-Newton chapter of the National Coalition of Negro Women, member of homeless street ministry for Beulah Missionary Baptist, licensed realtor, member of Ga. Association of Realtors
What would you bring to this position: Experience, leadership qualities. I have sponsored and passed legislation successfully; have worked closely with local governments, including the city of Porterdale and Newton and Rockdale counties, and have built up relationships in state government. I've been able to have the ear of the speaker (of the house and) the ear of the governor whenever I've needed to speak to them about issues that are of concern to my community.
Three most important issues: Education, affordable health care, economic development. We just need a better educated community so our workforce will be ready when they come out of high school. Juvenile justice reform. Keeping kids safe online and in life from bullying.
For more:, 678-480-8924, text at 55469

Sharon G. Sawyer
Age: 60
City: Covington
Profession: Senior Claims Specialist
Previous elected office or leadership positions: Previously ran for State House District 113 in 2012; ran for Newton County school board in 2010; Founding member of The African American Historical Association of Newton County, Board member of The Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, former President of Deaconess Board Early Hope Ministries, Producer and Director of "Thy Brothers and Sisters Keeper" Radio Broadcast (eight Years founding member)
What would you bring to this position:
Accessibility; I have knowledge of the entire district. I've been here in this district 25 years. I know the people in the 113th district. I am out here among them most of them anyway. I shop with them I attend different events with them I worship with some of them. I am them. I'm not on a pedestal looking down at anyone. I'm not gated from anyone. You will see me year-round, not just when I want to get others to tell you who I am and to vote for me. I will be available to all who live in the district, black, white, rich, poor, educated or not.
Three most important issues: Giving our seniors knowledge of programs that exist for help with utilities medicines etc. There are resources right now that are waiting for our Seniors and our youth at the State level but the people who currently represent us does not have a clue to what this district needs. Educating our youth. Recreation in our district.
For more:


State House District 91 (Democrat)

Diane Adoma
Age: 56
City: Lithonia
Profession: Business Owner/Adoma & Associates dba H&R Block Rockdale County
Previous elected office or leadership positions held:
Chair of United Way Rockdale County Campaign, Leadership Rockdale graduate, Conyers Rotary Club Youth Director Chair, Ambassador Chair 2012/2013 Chamber of Commerce, Chair of "Shop the Rock" Economic Development initiative, President of Brooks Mill Homeowner Association, CFO Affordable Housing Community Development Corporation, President of DeKalb Salem Panola Library Friends of the Library, Graduate of Rotary Leadership Institute, Chair of Rotary Has Heart to eradicate childhood hunger, VP New Business Development/Adoma & Assoc dba H&R Block, Marketing Director Sage America and combined years of management work experience is 25 plus years.
What you would bring to this position:
I bring a choice to District 91 and I pay taxes in both counties. I would make the local district a priority, be visible, caring and a respectful role model for all the people and actively engaged with the community not just during election times. I would seek common ground with the people without compromising my core principles and beliefs and would keep a positive attitude. I would represent Rockdale with the highest level of professionalism and work to get positive outcomes without finger-pointing. I will write legislation that has a direct impact on the district and build youth centers. I would use my "soft skills" to reach across party lines, be a good listener to all nationalities, races, genders, religions and age groups.
Three most important issues: 1) Education - Problem: Less than 5 percent of our students are truly college ready and we are graduating about 50 percent. Solution: I would improve college readiness and graduation rates up to 30 percent by integrating a program with the school system to reduce the disparities to bridge the gap. Organize volunteer teams to assist teachers with administrative duties so they can have more time to teach. Common core standards are important. Visit 2) Senior housing in Rockdale and Lithonia - Problem: The baby boomer population is expected to increase 200 percent by 2030. Solution: Build upscale affordable housing for 55+ including veterans on the wait list at the housing authority. This will create economic development opportunities and attract retailers, technology and other new businesses to the district. 3) Women's Rights - Problem: Women still make less than men for the same job; roughly about 77-83 cents on every dollar and it is even less for African Americans and Hispanics. Solution: Write legislation so that women will be paid a fair wage and will have the option to make choices that are best for their health
For more: , 678-400-7566,

Dee Dawkins-Haigler (incumbent)
City: Lithonia
Profession: minister/consultant
Previous elected office or leadership positions: Running for fourth term, Chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, past Chair Georgia Women's Legislative Caucus, Deputy Assistant Minority Whip, Georgia 50 Top Woman of Influence, First GA legislator to serve as State Director for Women in Government and the National Council of State Legislative Women at the same time.
What would you bring to this position: As a result of my ability to lead and work well with others I have been elected to numerous leadership positions. As a legislator I have fought to make sure that voting rights are not suppressed and that citizens have access to the ballot box. I have been involved in politics most of my life whether serving as a PTA President, community organizer or being appointed to state boards or commissions. I chose to run for State Representative because I was interested in "state wide" issues that affect all of Georgia's families and children.
Most pressing issues: Education, quality jobs with decent wages, affordable and accessible health care, incentives for the creation of small business, college affordability, economic Development
For more:


U.S. Congress, Fourth District (Democrat)

Tom Brown
Age: 61
City: Decatur
Profession: Retired Sheriff

What differentiates you from your opponent?
I am running for the Fourth Congressional District seat because I am frustrated by this do-nothing Congress and frankly by the ineffective, passive representation our district has been getting in recent years. Although most of the gridlock and the craziness in Washington starts with the Republicans, Democrats cannot escape some responsibility. My opponent has been part and parcel of the partisan acrimony that has made this Congress a complete waste of time and taxpayer's funds. All across the Fourth, I've heard constituents ask where are the jobs? Where is the economic development? Where are the infrastructure projects that an effective Congressman is supposed to bring to his district? The answer is "NOWHERE." Clearly the Fourth is not getting the effective leadership it needs and deserves. And that is why I am running. In contrast to my opponent, I will bring to the U.S. Congress fresh ideas, renewed vigor and the courage to offer a measure of bipartisanship when that may be needed to best serve the people of the 4th.

How will you be accessible to the residents of the Fourth District?
While there are many critical issues challenging the 4th District today, I firmly believe that the attention and energy a member of Congress gives to addressing the needs of individual constituents is also of critical importance.
Here is how my Congressional offices will function. First and foremost, we will be easily accessible in person, by phone, e-mail and all the means of communication afforded by modern technology. We will have human voices, not recordings, taking requests for service and answering questions. I will be very visible throughout the district. And I will not just talk. I will listen. I will hold frequent town hall meetings, business networking programs and community events, and I will visit senior centers and churches year-round, not just when an election is approaching. We will strive always to provide personal, direct, intelligent and prompt constituents services throughout our district.

For more:, (770) 769-5530,, Twitter @TBrown4Congress


Henry "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (incumbent)
Age: 59
City: Lithonia
Profession: Congressman; former attorney, judge and county commissioner

What differentiates you from your opponent?
I have a record of effective public service and will ask voters to support me based on my record. I am proud of my committee work on Armed Services and Judiciary, as well as my voting record in support of legislation that provides for the common defense and promotes the general welfare. My office is known for effective constituent services -- we have secured more than $32 million for constituents seeking help with federal agencies. I have delivered on my promise of "Taking Care of Home First" by helping bring home more than $250 million for roads, schools and cops.
As Congressman from the Fourth District since 2007, I have a long record of serving as an effective legislator, introducing more than 60 bills that protect consumers and voting rights, provide access to healthcare for all Georgians, and strengthen jobs and the economy. As the former Southeast Regional Whip and current Ranking Member of a subcommittee in the Judiciary, I have demonstrated the kind of leadership needed to not only get things done, but do it in a way that puts Georgians first.

How will you be accessible to the residents of the Fourth District?
I take constituent services seriously, and I plan to continue delivering top-quality services to the Fourth District. Not only have I held hundreds of meetings and participated in a host of community events to hear directly from constituents but I use social media -- including Facebook and Twitter -- to reach out as well. Since 2007, the meetings have included job fairs, health fairs, art competitions, seniors meetings, academy nomination events, foreclosure prevention events, scholarship presentations and our office is a regular participant in the Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families Initiative.
Although our main district office is in Lithonia, we have mobile office hours so we can meet with a constituent(s) at Conyers City Hall, Covington City Hall, Northlake Mall in Tucker and Snellville City Hall. I also send constituents regular e-newsletters that inform constituents about Washington, D.C. and the district. Constituents can sign up at For face-to-face meetings and help with federal agencies, my staff and I are available at five offices in Georgia and in Washington, D.C., Rayburn Building 2240.

For more: 770-987-2291,,, ,, Campaign Twitter: @ReElectHank | Congressional Twitter: @RepHankJohnson