Wednesday morning, Clarkston mayor Ted Terry formally launched his campaign for the United States Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Senator David Perdue. The 36-year-old Democrat supports the decriminalization of marijuana, higher minimum wages, stringent clean energy policies and advocates for a more inclusive immigration policy.

“Campaigns are ways we can move the needle on policies,” Terry said. “And I’m going to set the marker on what being a progressive in Georgia stands for. I won’t be surprised if the others follow suit.”

Terry relocated to Atlanta after college and has worked on Democratic campaigns and various projects, beginning in 2005 with the Atlanta Beltline project. Moreover, Terry was elected mayor of Clarkston in 2013, a town of 13,000 people located east of Interstate 285 in DeKalb County. Under Terry’s leadership, he established the progressive curve in 2016 when he signed an ordinance that decriminalized possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Currently, the fine is $75 and eliminates the possibility of jail time for breaking municipal law.

“I’m running on my record. We were on the cutting edge in Clarkston,” Terry said. “My record as mayor has always been to challenge the establishment and disrupt the system, and being elected to the U.S. Senate would be the biggest threat to the established order.”

Terry supports a minimum wage increase, relative to inflation, supports a public option for individuals to purchase government-administered healthcare, and is an advocate of free community college.

“Desperate times require desperate measures,” said Terry. “I want to bring new vision, energy and courage back to Washington. It’s political malpractice from David Perdue because he hasn’t held a town hall in five years. I’ll have the courage to face my constituents whether they agree or disagree.

“I would describe myself as a Democrat who gives a damn – I give a damn about people who are in poverty, about people suffering, about our planet, about the rent being too damn high. I’m a Democrat who gives a damn.”

At the moment, Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson is the only other Democrat that has declared her intentions to challenge Perdue.

Mayor Ted Terry of Clarkston, Georgia speaks on WABE's "Closer Look" on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. BRENNA BEECH / WABE

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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