Woodall Vs. Tankersley
By Caitlyn Oliver | Posted: October 17, 2016
College Student Runs for Georgia State Representative
Incumbents don’t often face opposition from college students but this election year Georgia District 160 will see an unusual election.
James "Major" Woodall, an undergraduate student at Georgia Southern University (GS), is running on the Democratic ticket for State Representative.
"I have a desire to move forward unified. Our leaders now don't have vision. I was given a vision at the
tender age of eight years old of family, home, unity," Woodall said.
Jan Tankersley is the Republican incumbent and believes her background and voting record will speak
for itself in her campaign. Some of her constituents agree.
“Especially in Bulloch County, I think the fact that everyone knows her and knows what she stands for
and knows her record, I think they will support her if they are from Bulloch County,”
Gail Dismuke, Statesboro local, said.
Despite hailing from just outside the Atlanta area, not Bulloch County, Woodall is drawn to Statesboro
and the people it holds because he has found a connection through his involvement in the community
through the GS chapter of NAACP and organizing a variety of events during his years at the university.
Tankersley is a native of Bulloch County and has held the State Representative position for the last five
years, having been elected in 2010 over Tom McElwee and taken office January 2011.
While in office, Tankersley has endorsed an extensive list of bills, including the most recent bills over
Campus Carry and alcohol rights as they pertain to breweries.
Georgia laws are super restrictive in relation to breweries and Tankersley helped bring that to the attention of the state House. That helped us get established, Franklin Dismuke, owner of Eagle Creek Brewing Company, said.
Despite being the youngest candidate to run for state office, Woodall does not consider his age a disadvantage to his election prospects.
"I'm not so set in my ways that I won't learn and grow. It benefits people that they have someone they can count on to listen," Woodall said.
Woodall is getting a large amount of support from Bulloch locals, not just students.
"He listens and he is forthright and strong in representing [local people]. He's going to do a better job of listening to the people in this region in District 160 and representing them, not representing something some big corporation in some legislation people buy into," Jane Page, a retired GS faculty member and local reverend, said.
Voting registration ends October 11 and early voting begins October 17. Tankersley was not available for comment.