Mary-Pat Hector (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

At Issue: Is teen running for Stonecrest City Council a good move?

The newly formed city of Stonecrest now has another distinction — it has allowed a teenager to run for a City Council seat. Mary-Pat Hector fought for the right to run based on the vague wording of the city charter that didn’t give an age requirement for public office holders. The 19-year-old Spelman College student has been active in local politics and organizations for several years. Besides being represented by Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr. in the challenge to her candidacy, her supporters include Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall and Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry.

Stonecrest is seating its first City Council on March 21, after voters approved the southeastern DeKalb city in November. The challenge was brought by George Turner Jr., who also qualified for the seat, along with Hector and three others.

Hector released this statement after DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections decided to let her run:

“Justice was served, and the law prevailed,” Hector said. “The board’s decision is a testament to the inclusion of the next generation’s participation in the democratic process.”

What do you think? Is Hector’s passion and intelligence enough to outweigh her youth? Is she a shinning example for other young people to become more involved in government? Or is this arena too grown-up for one so young? Send comments to communitynews@ajc.com. Responses may be published in print and/or online.

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