Greater Second Mount Olive Baptist Church Pastor Lorenzo Heard is surrounded by supporters in front of the Dougherty County Elections office on Monday. Heard is trying to qualify to run as an independent against Democratic Board of Education at-large nominee Lane Price in November’s general election.
ALBANY, Ga. — Greater Second Mount Olive Baptist Church Pastor Lorenzo Heard submitted petitions Monday to the Dougherty County Board of Elections in an attempt to qualify to run as an independent in the at-large School Board race in November against Democratic nominee Lane Price.
While Heard met Monday’s noon deadline to turn in qualifying petitions, his place on November’s ballot is still not assured because there is reason to believe he did not meet last Friday’s noon deadline to file a proper Notice of Candidacy affidavit with the elections office.
“We filed by the deadline on Friday, but the document was rejected by the elections office,” Heard said. “It was time stamped but was rejected for some reason. It was given back and later shredded.”
In addition to the petitions, Heard also delivered two copies of the affidavit he said was rejected last Friday.
Contacted Monday, Price was surprised by Heard’s attempt at the last second qualification.
“As far as I am concerned, I am the duly elected Democratic nominee for the Dougherty County School Board’s at large seat,” said Price. “This is fact and this is how we will proceed.”
Price, a political newcomer, trounced incumbent Anita Williams-Brown, who was endorsed by a group consisting of many of the county’s black preachers, by more than 2,100 votes in last Tuesday’s Democratic Primary.
Williams-Brown’s defeat meant that unless someone could qualify to run against Price in the November general election that the School Board would revert from a 4-3 black majority to a 4-3 white majority.
"I didn't want to run, but I a feel compelled to do what I can to make the Dougherty County School System better," said Heard. "I am a community builder and a concerned parent. I minister to many children in the system. We need to turn this system around now, and I felt I have no other choice but to get involved.
"I believe the citizens of Dougherty County deserve better government and that the board of education needs to do a better job of educating our children."
Dougherty Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson was visibly harried as she walked towards the elevator later.
"Right now I have no comment to make," said Nickerson. "I can't comment because I really don't know what is going on at the moment. After I learn more I will talk about what is happening."