On Sunday, October 19, the Democratic candidate for House District 138, Kevin Brown, and his family visited Cusetta’s Bethel AME in Chattahoochee County. Brown, a Marion County (Buena Vista) native is attempting to unseat long-time incumbent Mike Cheokas and take back one of the majority-minority seats in the Georgia General Assembly–House District 138.
House District 138 is made up of four counties– Chattahoochee (Cusetta), Marion (Buena Vista) , Schley (Ellaville) and Sumter (Americus). In November 2012, the rural Democrat came as close as any candidate could get in claiming the seat, but lower turnout in the district’s largest city–Americus– help Cheokas stay in office for another two years voting against the majority of his district.
The city of Americus is 63 percent African-American with a 70 percent overall minority population. Brown did win Sumter in November 2012, but the margin was smaller due to lower voter turnout. In Sumter, Brown had 5,153 votes to Cheokas’ 4,697. Consequently, Republicans in the smaller Schley County proved to be the difference in deciding the 2012 race.
Despite the demographics, Americus has never had an African-American mayor or a majority of its City Council thus far. However, the growing minority demographic is causing the current conservative majority consisting of Dixiecrats and Republicans of finding alternative means of diluting black political power in Americus and Sumter County via the Georgia General Assembly.
Brown had won three of the four counties except Schley where the vote margin favored the Republican. In 2012, Cheokas had won by the slimmest of margins –50.6 percent to 49.2 percent.
In 2010, Cheokas had switched parties and turned from the Democrats and became a Republican and siding with Nathan Deal on a variety of legislation ranging from cutting public education to supporting efforts to block Medicaid expansion in Georgia.
Brown has expressed that he is a supporter of public school education. He believes that taxpayers’ dollars should be spent on “public” education and further believes that parents deserve power over our schools, not bureaucrats.
Brown is the Director for the Marion County Family Connection Collaborative and the Josh Gibson Youth and Family Resource Center where he is an active advocate for improving the lives of youth and families. He has worked in this capacity for the past 13 years.
Brown is also a former member of the Buena Vista City Council and the Marion County Commission. He has served and continues to serve on numerous boards such as the Board of Directors for the West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition, the Marion County Board of Health, Marion County Child Abuse Protocol Board, the River Valley Regional Commission, and the Marion County Board of Education’s Safety Committee.