Democrats square off for chance to run for Congress against Republican Buddy Carter

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Tuesday’s Democratic runoff is giving voters another opportunity to vote for the person of their choice to run for Congress in District 1.

It’s the seat now held comfortably by Republican incumbent Congressman Buddy Carter.

Lisa Ring, who ran against Carter in 2018, is once again vying to be the candidate who takes him on in 2020. She received 46 percent of the vote in the June primary but not enough to win.

Ring says she is running to give people more of a voice and that her priorities this time around remain health care, including going to Universal Health Care at some point in the future.

She says the pandemic has exposed flaws in income equality but also health care. She says the thousands in Georiga who have lost jobs have also lost their healthcare. Ring also promises a strong environmental voice in terms of her opposition to offshore oil leasing and her plan and support for clean energy jobs.

She also talked to News 3 about criminal justice reform, saying that as a former correctional officer, she knows the system needs to be overhauled.

Joyce Marie Griggs is a former military officer who served in Iraq. She received about 40 percent of the vote in the June primary and says she is running to promote more racial and economic justice.

She told us she is concerned about the growing issue of people losing their healthcare and would first, shore up the Affordable Care Act. She says because of job losses that have resulted in people losing coverage, one thing that should be done is to open up enrollment right now in the ACA.

Griggs also says she has an environmental agenda and is concerned that the Trump Administration has “gutted” the Environmental Protection Agency.

Griggs says criminal justice reform and new kinds of police training are needed in District 1, citing the Brunswick case of Ahmaud Arbery, an African American man who was jogging and chased by three Caucasian men, after two said they thought he was a burglary suspect. Arbery was shot and killed.

Griggs told News 3 her legal knowledge indicates that more can be done to provide criminal justice reform. She also acknowledged that while she has legal knowledge and training, she is no longer able to practice law, saying she was disbarred in 2004.

An appeal in 2011 to reinstate her practicing privileges was not granted by the Georgia Supreme Court. Griggs says much of the original issue stemmed from a dispute in federal court in the Southern District in 2001. But she said she doesn’t “need a license to serve the people.”

She also pointed to her military service in recent years saying, “look at what I have done and accomplished since then.”

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