He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, was clubbed and seriously injured when he led the Selma March, played a key role in ending racial segregation in America, and has served as Georgia’s 5th District representative for 23 years. Rep. John Lewis will set the tone for this election year’s Muscogee County Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson Gala, a $50-a-plate fundraiser, at the Columbus Trade Center on September 20th. He will share the stage with this year’s Occasion Speaker Carol Porter, the Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor.
The Jack T. Brinkley, Sr. Service Award will be presented by Jack Brinkley, former 3rd District Representative, to three prominent local Democrats for their lifetime of public service to the community, state and nation. Honored will be former Georgia state Representative Milton Jones, 2nd Congressional District Representative Sanford Bishop, and Mrs. Ella Lewis.
Jones, a Columbus attorney from 1959 to 1998, served in the Georgia House from 1962 until 1970. He also participated in Jimmy Carter’s campaign for governor in 1970 and President in 1976. He was appointed by Carter to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in 1974 and served as Board Chairman during 1978-79.
Bishop has served as Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District representative for 17 years. He won the seat after serving only one term in the Georgia Senate. He was President Barack Obama’s state campaign co-chairman in 2007. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is a Blue Dog Democrat and is, arguably, the most conservative African-American in Congress.
Lewis is a lifelong Democrat and civic servant who cut her political teeth working for North Carolina’s Senator Sam Ervin. She is not only a member of the Muscogee County Democratic Party but is a voting member of the Democratic Party of Georgia’s State Committee. She chairs the local party’s Affirmative Action Committee. Her list of community service projects is long and includes the Georgia Department of Transportation Citizen Advisory Committee, the South Columbus Task Force for Keeping Columbus Beautiful and the Superintendent’s Roundtable for the Muscogee County School District.
Most of the Democratic candidates for state and local offices will participate in the Gala.