While incumbent Wole Ralph, who is running for his third term, spoke of the accomplishments of the current commission and some of his top priorities, his challengers, Shana Rooks, owner of the law firm Shana M. Rooks & Associates, LLC, and Delta Airlines employee Ronald Ringer, spoke of what they saw as key issues this year and what they would do to address the issues.
All three candidates spoke of what they considered an unfair reflection of Clayton County by local television stations in addition to the county’s high unemployment and foreclosure rates as well as what they considered Clayton poor marketing effort.
Ralph pointed to a number of accomplishments which have been made while he has been commissioner, including the construction of at least four recreation centers.
To that, he added, while he has been on the commission, he has maintained an increased level of communication with his constituents.
“Clayton County now has more law enforcement on our streets than ever before,” he said.
When asked their top three issues going into the general primary, all three candidates spoke of their plans to work toward lowering the unemployment and high foreclosure rates.
Rooks said she would bring integrity and transparency back to Clayton County government.
“I am also concerned about our property taxes and want to see them lowered,” she said.
Ringer, who said he was the only candidate in the race who has been a life-long Clayton resident, said he also wants to bring integrity and responsibility back to the county.
“A vote for Ronald Ringer is a vote for change,” he said.
The candidates were also asked to list their top three issues this year. While Ringer pointed to education, crime and a lack of jobs, Rooks emphasized economic development and improved transportation.
“With these issues addressed, more jobs would come to Clayton County,” Rooks said, adding again that she would work to give Clayton a better image throughout the metro region.
Ralph said issues the other candidates had spoken of were also on his agenda but added that Clayton elected officials needed to establish a better line of communications with constituents.