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Heard, Price face off (Video added)

Candidates for the Dougherty County School Board’s at-large seat Lorenzo Heard and Lane Price answer questions submitted from the audience Thursday night at a public forum held at Albany State University.

Candidates for the Dougherty County School Board’s at-large seat Lorenzo Heard and Lane Price answer questions submitted from the audience Thursday night at a public forum held at Albany State University.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: The full video of the Albany State Forum will be available at 9:30 a.m., October 26, 2012 on this page. Mobile users can access the video HERE.

ALBANY, Ga. — Lane Price and Lorenzo Heard squared off in their only debate Thursday night at Albany State University, and both Dougherty County School System School Board at-large candidates seemed to score points with undecided voters.

In opening statements, Heard, the pastor of Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church, urged voters to support his write-in candidacy because of his track record of commitment to the community and concern for the education of its children.

Price, the Democratic nominee, as well as the Medical Director at Willson Hospice House, said the DCSS is in bad shape, with nowhere to go but up. She added she wanted to provide the community's children with the same educational opportunities she enjoyed growing up in Sumter County.

Held before a large crowd, the candidates answered questions from the audience which ranged from why each considered themselves to be the most qualified candidate to what their first priority would be if elected.

"We must get our parents involved," Heard said. "Our teachers have to deal with disruptions in the classroom every day. If you have to beg a child to sit down, the teacher is already behind an eight-ball.

"Someone has to corral our parents to be better parents. That's where we start."

Price said her first priority would be getting the DCSS's financial house in order.

"We have to address our current money issues. Look at the state of our schools. Money is being mishandled and federal funds are being frozen," Price stated. "We have to immediately get money to run our school system. The federal government is looking at the DCSS because of mismanaged Title I funds.

"The State Department of Education is making the system hire two people to oversee our free lunch programs and Title I funds. This must be addressed immediately."

Individually, Heard was asked why he did not run in the July primary, but rather delayed qualifying as an independent less than a week after Price defeated incumbent Anita Williams-Brown.

"I felt compelled to run, but I was never obligated to run in the primary," Heard said, his voice rising. "I can't tell you how many times I have been asked that question from both black and white people. Had I run in the primary, black folks would have accused me of splitting the black vote."

Price, who has lived in Dougherty County for four years, was asked how she felt she was part of the community she is trying to represent.

"I spent all summer going door-to-door throughout most of Dougherty County," she said. "It was hot and I was sweaty, but I met a lot of wonderful people, black and white, some of whom are here tonight. Luckily for me the summer days are long in Southwest Georgia.

"Being a physician, when I see an x-ray, I look for trouble inside the body. That x-ray doesn't tell me the race of the person. I look at people as people. I'm not concerned about the race of the person, only healing them."

Earlier, debate moderator Aaron Johnson asked Heard if he had children in the DCSS, and if not, what would ensure his passion for the county's school kids?

"It would be unfair to say how many kids I have in the Dougherty County School system, because to me, they are all my children," Heard answered. "As a pastor, I can't count all the children I have, but I have more than are in this room, more than are at Albany State and more than are in the Dougherty County School System."

Comments

SMHgain 1 year, 9 months ago

Unfair to say how many kids he has in the school system? I think that was a reasonable question to ask a candidate.

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RedEric 1 year, 9 months ago

Maybe he told the truth...he has no idea how many of those kids are his. You know when he ministers to troubled women sometimes children result.

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BettyBowTie 1 year, 9 months ago

He has one by the church secretary, ask his wife lol.

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ghostofkarelia 1 year, 9 months ago

"We were trying to find somebody else to run. I did not want to, but when we could not find anyone else we talked with some other people hoping that they would and several promised to let me know when, some Thursday (8/2/2012) and when they didn't by Friday (8/3/2012), I decided I had to do it. And I feel very compelled to get involved."

-Lorenzo Heard, 8/6/2012

http://www.walb.com/story/19205777/heard-applies-for-school-board-seat

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whattheheck 1 year, 9 months ago

Pants on fire? Sorry, it was driven by the possibility of a white getting elected and a possible shift in power. Otherwise, he would have been a candidate at the outset. .

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Iheartalbany 1 year, 9 months ago

I was in attendance and think Dr. Price summed it up best in her closing arguments: "My only question is: if I had not defeated the incumbent, would we be sitting here tonight? I think the answer is clear."

Others have clearly made this a racial issue and it shouldn't be one. At all. Rev. Heard said tonight the black community is responsible for fixing the black community's problems and others can only "chip-in". Albany is NOT a "black community"; it is a community of people. Period.

Here's to hoping the 2,100 voters who gave Dr Price the victory in July will do the same in a few weeks.

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JustAnotherVoice 1 year, 9 months ago

I find your COMMENT racial and if indeed Rev. Heard said, "the black community is responsible for fixing the black community's problems and others can only 'chip-in'" THAT IS RACIST AND OFFENSIVE TO THOSE OF OTHER ETHNICITIES THAT HAVE CHILDREN IN THE DSS!

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Iheartalbany 1 year, 9 months ago

I am confused as to whether or not you are in agreement with me. My comment is only "racial" in that I mentioned this election being turned into a racial issue. I have no preference for a black or white person to be on the board - only those who sincerely want the best for DCSS.

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billybob 1 year, 9 months ago

The school system is overwhelmingly black. From the administrators to the teachers to the students. So in the sense that he is referring to the school system, he is correct. It is a black community - big time. And that's part of the problem. Black people claim to value diversity. Nonsense. They only value diversity if it means benefits for other blacks. They most definitely do not value diversity where white people participating in a majority black endeavor are concerned. And this is despite the fact that those white people have knowledge, skills and good intentions. To most of the black people around here, they would rather have a black with no knowledge, no skills and dubious intentions simply because the person is black. How else can you explain Junebug?

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Iheartalbany 1 year, 9 months ago

If he was referring to the school system only, maybe he was correct in calling it a black community. But as you and I well know, that particular mindset is the prevailing one for everything else related to Dougherty County. Blacks make up the majority of our county - the numbers prove that - but to call it a "black community" is misleading. Our school board members aren't in the position they're in to stick up for a certain ethnicity.

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billybob 1 year, 9 months ago

In the minds of those who elected them they are certainly there to stick up for blacks exclusively. That's exactly why those constituents put them in office.

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Iheartalbany 1 year, 9 months ago

But I tend to agree with your observations. Diversity is ill-defined in our area.

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waltspecht 1 year, 9 months ago

He said it all when he said he didn't run in the Primary because he would have been accused of splitting the Black vote. This is a clear indication he considers it a Racial divide in the election, and wants to keep the Board Black majority. If he really believes in the strength of Family, he would have his own house in order.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 9 months ago

I do not live in DoCo, but a statement Heard made, folks would accuse me of splitting the black vote. Already he is not a leader by making that statement. Why should he care. The same statement was made in the sheriff's race several years ago and the white sheriff still won. If you are a good candidate, then you should take the chips where they fall. The honest thing to have done was enter the race and give it a good shot. Instead you used diversive tactics that are a little less than dishonest. So how can you ever promote honesty and good leadership?

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 9 months ago

"I felt compelled to run, but I was never obligated to run in the primary," Heard said, his voice rising. "I can't tell you how many times I have been asked that question from both black and white people. Had I run in the primary, black folks would have accused me of splitting the black vote."

Don't look now Mr. Heard but your racism is showing!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 9 months ago

Exactly. How is that not blatant racism? Even if he claims that he doesn't think it was ethical, he still found it compelling enough not to run.

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bigbob 1 year, 9 months ago

Heard is a racist plain & simple. The best question from the night was if Heard would have run if Brown had of won. I think we all know the awnser to that. Well at least this election will tell everyone how bad off Albany really is.

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Cranky 1 year, 9 months ago

One question and one only....was the audience respectful?

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 9 months ago

Yes, overall the crowd was respectful.

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Cranky 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you ....good to know.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 9 months ago

of course....thats ASU....not Valdosta State....

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Iheartalbany 1 year, 9 months ago

I agree with Terry. The crowd was surprisingly respectful. There were a few "outbursts" which the moderator did well in taking care of. The crowd was largely in support of Rev. Heard in my opinion. And I base that sheerly on crowd reaction. I felt like most people didn't want to take Dr Price seriously because of Rev. Heard's reputation in and around the area of Albany where the debate was held, but she held her own and I admire her for even showing up.

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Cranky 1 year, 9 months ago

Yes, I agree..... don't know much about her, but I do admire her.

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JustAnotherVoice 1 year, 9 months ago

I am sick and tired of the racism in this community. It isn't the whites that are racists -- heaven knows we have been beaten over the head all of our lives to not see color and to treat all colors with respect -- it is the blacks that are racists. UNBELIEVABLE! What are you people teaching your children? What are preachers like "reverend" Heard preaching from his pulpit! DISGUSTING!

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rightasrain 1 year, 9 months ago

Racism, obviously! And it isn't just in Dougherty County; black racism has consumed this country. If you don't believe it, just wait until Obama is defeated by Romney on Nov. 6; Watts will look like a Sunday School field trip.

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RedEric 1 year, 9 months ago

My hope is that one day the black community will wake up and realize what the liberals have done to them. Look at the lifestyles that have evolved out of welfare. This man Heard openly clearly acknowledging and supporting a black/white divide and why not. His free government money depends on a divide. There would be NO government freebies if there were no divide. The Sherrods would not have been given $13.6 million if not for a racial divide. When there is so much money involved it will be very difficult to change, but make no mistake a lot of it is akin to a criminal shakedown.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 9 months ago

The debate started 20 minutes late. The audience was looking for him and he appeared to be late, when he cam sauntering down the aisle of the Auditorium at 7:22 p. m. ( The debate was supposed to start at 7 p. m.) Dr. Price was at the debate at 6:45p.m. ready to go. Nice example set by Reverend Heard(if you want to call him that (He has never been to theological school). He attempted to preach( a turn off for voters) rather than debate. He did not put forth any statistics regarding the DCSS as Dr. Price did. He was condescending and did make some questionable remarks regarding race. He will not get my vote.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

Should he win I Wonder if Heard would be late for all school board meetings if he even shows up at all. Seems to me Heard has no desire at all to be on the board and is just going through the motions.

If heard was that enthusiastic on being on the board he would be there early all pumped up ready to go, rather than dragging himself there as if he would rather be at home watching the football game than be involved in this debate. To me this shows a lack of desire and a lack of respect and confidence.

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Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

"To me this shows a lack of desire and a lack of respect and confidence. "

Oh, he's confident. He knows that the majority of the voters will vote on the shade of his skin and that is the only qualification he needs.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

Good point, maybe cocky is the better word for it.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 9 months ago

Sorry for typos regarding my other posts. I have trouble typing on my cell phone.

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jglass 1 year, 9 months ago

PEOPLE GET OUT AND VOTE.................... P R I C E !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PatrickY2K 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm voting for whomever will get Goseer out of here!

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dmyers80 1 year, 9 months ago

"All of them are my children"... What the heck kind of an answer is that?? I wanted the moderator to really dig into him... how many children do you have out of wed-lock??

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dmyers80 1 year, 9 months ago

I want to adress all of the comments that the "Black Community" supports Heard!!! Thats just not accurate... first of all there are many in the "black community" who feel exactly the same as I do, which is I cannot follow someone who has clearly shown that they will ABUSE their position of authority... And for the truancy program, I have a woman who lives 2 doors down from me... We live less tha a mile from Rev .Heards church, she has a 3rd grader, 6th, 8th, 9th and a 16 and 17 yr old... The only ones who go to school are the 3rd and 8th grader!!! tell the truth Heard... My programs only helps those who are members in my church and give money to the church!!!

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LikeItIs 1 year, 9 months ago

So Mr. Heard did deign to grace everyone with his presence ONLY 20 minutes late. I guess the concept of rudeness doesn't translate well for some people. Its not like Albany has the traffic to excuse this sort of blatant disregard for the other candidates (not to mention the audiences) time.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

What could been keeping Heard busy for 20 minutes???? What could he accomplish in 20 minutes????

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dmyers80 1 year, 9 months ago

My father has always told me that being late is disrespectful... It shows that you dont respect others time!!!

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chinaberry25 1 year, 9 months ago

Does not respect others time by being late as well as late registering. A false message is being sent.

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Tonto 1 year, 9 months ago

No one's opinion was changed by the "debate". Folks who were set stayed set; folks who were undecided were out to lunch from the start. No amount of talking from either side is going to change a single vote...only the vote counts now. Being late..well, I know my own Pastor has many things on his plate and is frequently called out of the blue by a member of his flock looking for answers.. and that become his priority. Whether ordained in a customary manner or not, that is the capacity he is filling. Without knowing the why, I can't summarily condem..but it was unfortunate to say the least.

I wonder if there is a reason that all that is discussed in this and other topic posts (DCSS comes to mind) is the distrust btwn the races, and never the reason for it. Surely there is something other than unreasonable paranoia driving the divide.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 9 months ago

Dr. Price could not have been elected without the support of BLACK PEOPLE....Get over it....Black People in Albany got out and voted for her just like whites did. This proves Blacks were looking beyond race to seek out a change in the current board of education. Therefore, Dr. Price should continue to respect the support she got from all races of people and represent them well. I just hope whites don't think her job is to come in and just vote against anything or anyone Black just because of their race. Thats not her job....She was elected to vote in the best interest of the DCSS. PERIOD!!!

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