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Fifth candidate enters Democratic field opposing Woodall's Seventh Congressional District
Forsyth resident campaigns on health care, human rights, transportation
Melissa Davis
Melissa Davis.

In a first for the opposition to District 7 U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, a fifth Democratic candidate has announced her bid for the seat.

Melissa Davis, a resident of Forsyth County, officially launched her campaign for the congressional post on Tuesday morning via a press release, hoping to gain her place in D.C. after more than 20 years of public service in the governmental financial sector.

“As a wife, a working mother and your neighbor in the 7th District, I’m excited to have the opportunity to focus on solutions to the challenges our community is facing,” she stated via email.

She said her campaign is focused on “empowering her community as a strong, honest and compassionate voice in Washington.”

The University of South Carolina, University of North Texas and University of North Georgia graduate has spent more than two decades “strengthening communities by working for various municipal and county governments in the financial sector.”

She serves as a Region One Advisory Board Committee member with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities, volunteers with the Special Olympics of Georgia and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.

She is also the first African-American president of the Democratic Women of Forsyth County and said she has dedicated her “time and energy to help get Democratic candidates elected, no matter the odds.”

The native of Dillon, South Carolina, lives in Cumming with her husband, Lawrence, a U.S. Army veteran, and their daughter, Zora, 10.

“Growing up, I learned from my mother, a working-class teacher, what it means to be a leader and how important it is to build strong communities,” she said. “I’m focusing on bringing accountability to Washington while getting results for our families. I’m not afraid to speak up for what the community and the country needs.”

She said, if elected, she will support a stronger economy that “works for all [in] reducing health care costs and increasing access to health care and a quality education for every family, puts more focus on skilled labor and technology, forward-looking investments in infrastructure and transportation, honoring our commitments to our veterans, sensible immigration reform and protecting and promoting civil rights, women’s rights, including equal pay for equal work and voting rights.

“Many in Congress have spent too much time talking about the problems and not enough time talking about real, practical solutions that will help our families, support our local businesses and make our community stronger.”

She said she will be meeting with residents and stakeholders in coming weeks to hear about what they want from their representatives in Congress.

Davis joins four others who have announced their candidacy for the Democratic seat: Kathleen Allen, Carolyn Bourdeaux, David Kim and Steve Reilly, who ran against U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall in 2012.

Woodall was first elected in 2010 and so far faces one challenger in Shane Hazel, who recently spoke to local Tea Party groups.

The 7th Congressional District spans Cumming, south Forsyth and much of Gwinnett County.