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Aaron Gould Sheinin

State clears independent Democrat for state House ballot

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January 28, 2015 - Atlanta - Rep. Gerald Greene, R - Cuthbert, right, will face an independent opponent in November. BOB ANDRES  / BANDRES@AJC.COM

January 28, 2015 – Atlanta – Rep. Gerald Greene, R – Cuthbert, right, will face an independent opponent in November. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Georgia Democrats on Friday said they have successfully placed a candidate on the ballot in House District 151 in South Georgia.

The Rev. Kenneth Zachary, however, will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as an independent, after Secretary of State Brian Kemp earlier this summer declared that the party’s original candidate, James Williams, did not live in the district. The ruling came well after qualifying for the office closed.

Kemp’s office this week approved Zachary’s petition of nearly 3,000 signatures to run against incumbent Rep. Gerald Greene, R-Cuthbert.

“Southwest Georgia’s enthusiasm for my campaign is both humbling and inspiring,” Zachary said in a statement. “Voters deserve a choice at the ballot box, and I plan on winning their support with a platform of strong Democratic values.”

Democrats have long targeted HD 151 as its the only majority-minority district in the state.

“I am very pleased Rev. Zachary is officially on the ballot,” House Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley, D-Columbus, said.  “Southwest Georgians will finally have the opportunity to elect a strong Democrat who represents their values and serves their needs, instead of Republican Gerald Greene.”