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|Gay Columbus, Ga., City Council candidate, HIV activist pushes local leaders to get tested|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|June 14, 2012 12:08|
Hobbs, 37, is also running for a seat on the Columbus City Council against incumbent Red McDaniels.
“In 2007, I started giving a voice back to people who are [HIV] positive,” Hobbs told GA Voice in phone interview. “So many people want to live in the shadows or not talk about anything. We're trying to face the stigma here locally.”
Hobbs said that several local officials have already signed on to participate, including Muscogee Co. Sheriff John Darr and others. He expected more to sign on as the date approached.
If he wins the July 31, Hobbs will be the first-openly gay man and the first person with HIV to be elected to the Columbus City Council. He's been actively involved with Columbus politics recently as the member of several city boards.
Being gay hasn't been an issue, Hobbs said.
“It's not something I go around pushing into people's faces,” Hobbs added. “I have a private life. That's my business. It has nothing to do with my work.”
If elected to the city's council, Hobbs said his vision for Columbus included advocating for a passenger rail line from Columbus to Atlanta, eliminating unneeded positions in city government and imposing term limits on elected officials.
"That's where we have to put friendship and loyalties aside," Hobbs said.
Hobbs called himself an independent. The July 31 election is a non-partisan contest.
“I'm more independent than anything,” Hobbs said. “Whoever makes me feel like they're going to do the job, those are the people that I vote for. We're all Americans, that's the only party that matters.”
“We have to put Columbus first. That's very important in my work.”
Top photo: Jeremy Hobbs, a candidate for the Columbus City Council, is urging local leaders and elected officials to get tested on National HIV Testing Day (courtesy photo)
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