Kevin Abel

Occupation: Founder, Abel Solutions.

Kevin Abel.

Other community service experience: Vice-Chair, New American Pathways; Chairman, Small Business Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, Davis Academy; Board of Councilors, Carter Center; Leadership Atlanta Class of 2006

What makes you the better candidate to challenge incumbent Karen Handel in the general election?

I’ve lived in the 6th District for 26 years, raising a family, building a business and helping to resettle refugee families through my work with New American Pathways. To beat Karen Handel, we don’t just need a Democrat, we need the right Democrat. We need someone with deep ties to the community, someone who’s created jobs and can speak to independent-minded voters who might not always vote for the Democrat but are disgusted with the Trump administration and Karen Handel’s support for its hateful agenda. I am that Democrat who can win those votes and beat Karen Handel in November.

Who is a significant person who helped to shape your worldview and philosophy, and how did they do so?

It wasn’t until I read the book “Long Walk to Freedom” that I truly understood Nelson Mandela’s story. In South Africa, the apartheid regime had purposefully spread misinformation to hide the injustices that he had suffered. In Nelson Mandela, I saw a leader who recognized the dignity of all human beings and strove to represent everyone in his country, despite the unconscionable indignities that he had suffered under the government that had imprisoned him. His perseverance and dedication to freedom for all people should always serve as a reminder to never stop fighting for what is just.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.