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SAVANNAH — Mothers pushing baby strollers and throngs of young men marched Thursday night to a Savannah police station “demanding justice” for 29-year-old Charles Smith, who was shot and killed Thursday morning by a Savannah police officer while in custody.
Chris Irvin, grandson of longtime state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, was a last-minute Democratic candidate for the position. Brant Sanderlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Add another famous Democratic surname to the mix in November’s election.
Chris Irvin, the grandson of former Agricultural Commissioner Tommy Irvin, qualified Friday to seek his grandpa’s old seat. The elder Irvin was somewhat of a Democratic legend in Georgia, serving as the state’s top ag official for more than four decades until he decided not to run again in 2010.
Irvin becomes the third descendant of a famous Democrat to seek their forefathers’ posts.
The younger Irvin is a 39-year-old homebuilder from Toccoa who waged an unsuccessful campaign for a state House seat in 2010. He said Agriculture Secretary Gary Black, a Republican seeking a second term, has created a “dangerous situation” for farmers because of his background as a lobbyist.
“He’s out of touch with our small farms and I think it’s time we restored honesty and integrity to the seat of the commission,” said Irvin.
Irvin notes that he’s the same age his grandfather was when then-Gov. Lester Maddox appointed him to the agricultural post. But, echoing the younger Carter, he says “I am not my grandfather.”
“I learned the value of hard work. I grew up in the gas station business and started work when I was 13 years old,” he said. “Our family has been very blessed with the service of my grandfather. But I don’t have politicians hands. DuBose called me the day before yesterday and I was in my tool belt, working on a 100-year-old building.”