Mary Pat Hector Wins Right to Run for City Council — Justice Served
Statement by Mary Pat Hector
I am honored and thrilled with the decision recognizing my right to run for Stonecrest City Council in DeKalb County, Georgia. Justice was served, and the law prevailed. The board’s decision is a testament to the inclusion of the next generation’s participation in the democratic process. As the youngest woman to be eligible to run for elected office in the history of the State of Georgia, I thank the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections and those who stand with me and support my candidacy and those who taught me and mentored me throughout my life. I look forward to continuing my campaign and serving as the first council member for the fourth district of the city of Stonecrest.
Some of Atlanta, Georgia’s most prominent political families, and elected officials spoke out in support of 19-year-old Mary Pat Hector and her right to run for Stonecrest City Council. Hector, a Spelman College student, founded her first organization, Youth in Action, at age 10 At age ten, organizing other children to combat gun-violence, drugs, and bullying.
She is one of five candidates seeking the District 4 seat in the March 21 election. One of her opponent’s, George Turner, also a District 4 candidate, has filed a legal challenge to keep Hector off of the ballot, claiming that she is too young to run. The Dekalb County Board of Elections has scheduled a hearing for this Thursday, Feb. 9th to determine the fate of her candidacy.
In the past 24 hours, several prominent elected officials have expressed support for Hector and her right to run.
In 1968, my father, Maynard H. Jackson Jr. met the requirements and ran for US Senate at the young age of 30! Although he did not win the Senate race, he did at the age of 35, become the first African American Mayor of a major southern city, Atlanta! He once stated that ‘Politics isn’t perfect, but it’s the best non-violent means of changing our lives!’ My wife, Wendy Eley Jackson and I support Ms. Hector’s right to serve her community by running for elected office! We believe that she should be guaranteed the same opportunities as anyone twice her age to run and her willingness to serve her community should be commended and not rebuked!
-Maynard H. Jackson III, Chairman — American Voters League, Executive Producer — The Documentary, MAYNARD and Wendy Eley Jackson, Principal, Auburn Avenue Films
Please accept my wholehearted endorsement for Mary Pat Hector’s right to run in this election. My parents and grandparents marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the rights that we enjoy today. I’m disappointed that we are still fighting this fight but am even more excited to see the next generation of leaders picking up the mantle.
-Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman
I think we should have more young candidates. Anyone who is eligible to vote should be qualified to be a candidate.
-Mayor Ted Terry, Clarkston, Georgia
I support Mary Pat Hector’s petition to seek office in the newly formed City of Stonecrest. Absent any clear and specific prohibition, and as a duly registered DeKalb County voter living within the prescribed boundaries of the city of Stonecrest, Ms. Hector should be afforded the same right to serve as any other similarly situated adult citizen of that community.
-Ceasar C. Mitchell, Esq., Atlanta City Council President
It is a shame that in 2016, Women & Minorities are still fighting for Access to the ballot — the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions are clear that candidates are eligible if they are of voting age (i.e. 18 years old).
Marvin Arrington, Jr., Arrington & Phillips, LLP (volunteering to help candidate Mary Pat Hector stay on the ballot)