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Sheals plans to stay in state Senate race

David Shafer cleared the way for Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to seek re-election after dropping out of the governor's race.

But Shafer's path to re-election isn't so hurdle-free.

The Rev. William Sheals, pastor of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, has decided not to bow out of the District 48 Senate race.

"David Shafer is a friend of mine, so there has been much to consider," Sheals said about continuing the campaign after Shafer's announcement Monday to suspend his lieutenant governor campaign and instead seek re-election.

"It's been a very difficult decision, but we've put in time, resources and assembled a very strong campaign team," he said. "We have been encouraged by the groundswell of support from the Gwinnett community, and we have hundreds of volunteers and substantial financial support in place."

The leader in Gwinnett's black community is running as a Republican, so he will face Shafer in the GOP primary next year.

Earlier this week, Shafer said Sheals and attorney Matt Reeves, who had also announced a run for the Senate seat, would co-chair his re-election campaign.

Dems host candidates, volunteers

Gwinnett Democrats will celebrate the annual Herb Green event this weekend.

Named for a longtime party volunteer, the family event at Shorty Howell Park will include recognition of an activist who went above and beyond the normal effort in the past year. While the event, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Duluth park, is free, attendees are asked to bring canned goods to donate to the Salvation Army and contributions will be accepted.

According to a party e-mail, guest speakers include state party Chairwoman Jane Kidd and Congressman John Lewis. Also expected to attend are many Dems running for statewide office, including gubernatorial candidates Thurbert Baker, DuBose Porter and David Poythress.

Mary Squires, a former local senator who is running for insurance commissioner, will be there, along with secretary of state candidates Gail Buckner and Darryl Hicks and attorney general candidate Rob Teilhet.

Contact Cheryl Williams by e-mail at 2ndvicechair@gwinnettdemocrats or by phone at 770-418-0402 or 404-219-0841 for additional information.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.