When the Houston County Board of Elections scheduled early voting in building G on Central Georgia Technical College’s Warner Robins campus, its members didn’t know the facility would bear the same name as a candidate on the ballot.
In January, the building was named after Lawrence C. “Larry” Walker Jr., a longtime Perry attorney who served 32 years in the Georgia General Assembly. Then in April, Walker’s son, Larry Walker III, announced his candidacy for state representative to fill the unexpired term of House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal.
Kelly Burke, a former Houston County district attorney who is a now-eliminated candidate in the House race, raised questions about the Walker name on the building where votes are being cast.
Then last month, the Houston County Board of Elections unanimously decided to cover Walker’s name, said Henry Childs, the board’s vice chairman.
Childs said it was too late and would have been too complicated to change voting precincts, so the board decided to cover up the Walker name during this election season.
“We were aware of it, and it probably would have came up in the meeting anyway. But as it happened, we did receive the letter and the board responded to the letter,” Childs said.
Childs said he’s never heard of or dealt with a similar situation.
Larry Walker Jr. declined to say much to The Telegraph about the decision to cover the name of the building, but did say, “I’m not upset about it. It’s not worrying me.”
With Burke no longer in the race, it is down to two candidates: Walker and Shaw Blackmon, president of National Bank Products. Blackmon is also vice chairman of the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia and was one of several people to offer words about Larry Walker Jr. during the building naming ceremony in January.
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334.