Richmond Hill Realtor Amy Tavio was a driving force in reorganizing the local Democratic Party and has long worked behind the scenes on local issues.
Now, the divorced mother of three who has never held political office hopes what she calls her search for “common sense, common ground” solutions for problems facing Georgians will convince residents of the 1st Congressional District to vote for her, regardless of their party affiliation.
Tavio announced earlier this week her candidacy as a Democrat, saying she’s running because “politics as usual isn’t working in D.C.”
“We’ve got career politicians on both sides that have dug their feet in and they’ve said they’re not willing to work together,” she said. “They’re not even being civil and respectful to one another. And those who are suffering with all of that playing out in Washington are the people here at home.”
Tavio said her own experiences as a real estate agent and small businesswoman, along with a number of conversations with friends who encouraged her to run, convinced her it was time to do something.
“I’ve witnessed our inability to work together in a number of ways. As a Realtor, sitting at kitchen tables with a box of tissues with a family trying to figure out how to get out from under a mortgage they’re upside down on so they can go someplace else where they’ve got a job opportunity,” she said. “I’ve noticed it with families trying to figure out how they’re going to pay their children’s medical bills and put food on the table at the same time.
“I’ve seen children moving back home because they can’t get a job after graduating from college and they’ve done everything right,” she added. “I’ve seen small businesses trying to keep their doors open, only to have the government shut down for three weeks and all of a sudden nobody walks into their restaurant anymore. It’s crazy. It doesn’t work and it doesn’t serve anyone.”
Tavio is the second Democrat to announce plans to run for the seat, which has been held by Republican Jack Kingston since he was elected in 1993. Kingston is running for Senate.
Earlier, Savannah’s Lesli Messenger also went public with her candidacy. There are six Republican candidates running, including state Sen. Buddy Carter of Pooler, former state Sen. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick, Bob Johnson, a surgeon and former Army ranger, businessman John McCallum of St. Simons, and Darwin Carter, a consultant from Bacon County who worked in the administration of former president Ronald Reagan.
Read more in the Jan. 18 edition of the News.