Dougherty County School Board at-large nominee Lane Price is
disappointed in the attempted late entry of Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church Pastor Lorenzo Heard into the BOE Race. But Price said on
Tuesday that his decision is just another “adversity we can manage.”
ALBANY, Ga. — Just last week, Lane Price was celebrating her victory over incumbent Anita Williams-Brown for the Dougherty School Board at-large seat.
Price won the Democratic nomination by more than 2,100 votes over Williams-Brown, and facing no Republican opposition, was looking forward to ‘hitting the ground running’ when she was sworn into office in January.
That vision grew a bit dimmer last Friday when Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church Pastor Lorenzo Heard announced he was going to jump into the race as an independent candidate against Price.
Heard apparently made the Friday deadline to run as an independent, but his notice of candidacy was rejected by a county board of elections official because of a technicality. Heard continued to press forward Monday, meeting a deadline for submitting signature petitions.
His candidacy, however, remains in limbo and will likely be decided later by the Board of Elections or the courts.
“The uncertainty is difficult,” said Price. “The voters have already decided. I was elected by a vote of the community at large, not just by one segment of our society. It is disturbing to me that racism is coming to the surface.”
The DCSS School Board’s makeup currently stands at four blacks (including suspended BOE member Velvet Riggins) and three whites. The election of Price would swing the board to white majority.
“Why has it taken so long for Rev. Heard to decide to run?” Price asked “This has nothing to do with the children of Dougherty County. This is all about maintaining power. Why did he not get in during the primary?”
Price said she was unconcerned about Heard’s challenge.
“If he qualified appropriately, so be it,” she said. “This is an adversity we can manage.”
Regardless, the past few days have been up and down for the political newcomer. Price said she is coping best she can, and the campaign has hired Americus attorney Jimmy Skipper to meet any possible legal challenge to the ballot.
“I feel like I have been riding on a sine wave,” Price said. “But I feel optimistic because I know I ran a good, hard campaign and got a fabulous response from a large cross section of the community.”
Price pointed to six phone calls she had gotten on Monday and Tuesday.
“I got four calls Monday from four African-American ladies who don’t know each other. They said they were supporting me all the way,” said Price. “Then today (Tuesday) I got two calls from African-American men who also said they were behind me.
“I found those calls to be very encouraging.”