Four candidates qualified Monday to run for district attorney of the Macon Judicial Circuit.
Circuit prosecutors Sharell Lewis and Greg Winters, Houston County prosecutor David Cooke and Jones County prosecutor Gregory Bushway are vying to fill the vacancy created when former District Attorney Howard Simms stepped down June 29 to run for a judgeship.
Lewis, 45; Winters, 36; Cooke, 41; and Bushway, 51, filed qualifying paperwork in Atlanta on Monday to run for the post.
Lewis said she is the only candidate with the administrative, budgetary and political experience needed for the job.
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“I’m running for managing partner in one of the larger law firms in Middle Georgia,” she said. “It’s a lot more than being a prosecutor.”
Winters, a Bibb County native, said he wants to make a difference in his hometown.
“I’m just excited about going forward in the election. I look forward to meeting more people in the community,” he said. “We have a great community, but it can be better.”
As a husband, father and director of the Houston County District Attorney’s Office Special Victims Unit, Cooke said he knows the effects that massage parlors and crimes against women and children are having on the community.
If elected, he said those areas will be among the ones he focuses his attention on. He said he also will determine which neighborhoods are underserved and address the problem.
Bushway launched his campaign Monday morning at a news conference at Macon’s Gateway Park. He previously had not filed campaign paperwork with the state.
“We need a change in our community,” Bushway told the crowd. “It is time to make justice work the way it should work.”
If elected, Bushway said he will prevent repeat offenders from going through the court system by prosecuting more aggressively. He said he will partner with churches and community organizations to educate young people about the consequences of crime.
Qualifying continues through Wednesday. Candidates will be listed on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The Macon Judicial Circuit covers Bibb, Peach and Crawford counties.
Gov. Sonny Perdue solicited nominations earlier this month for people to temporarily fill Simms’ post until the November election.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Wayne G. Tillis assumed the position of acting district attorney when Simms left.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.