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The May 22 election will include the general primary, nonpartisan general election and special election. Candidates for Georgia's 10th Congressional district include Bradley Griffin, Jody Hice, Joe Hunt, Chalis Montgomery, Tabitha Johnson-Green and Richard Dien Winfield. (Photo/Chris Carson, ccarson@randb.com)

As University of Georgia students are preparing for finals, some are also gearing up for Georgia's 10th Congressional District elections this May.

Sophomore Max Harris is one of the students who have decided to work with a candidate’s campaign staff.

Harris, a history major from Marietta, said he has always been very politically aware growing up. He was in involved in Democrat Jon Ossoff’s congressional campaign last year, and now, Harris is the deputy fundraiser director of Democrat Chalis Montgomery’s campaign.

The decision to jump onto Montgomery’s campaign was an easy one, Harris said. After hearing her speak at a Young Democrats meeting on campus fall semester, he said he “latched” on to her message and the issues she was fighting for.

Harris said he wants to get involved in “anything and everything” politics because he cares about his neighbors and the future of the country.

“The second Trump won the presidency, I committed to being in politics to see that out," Harris said. "I want to be involved. I don’t care how or whatever capacity ... If I’m sleeping on floors or knocking on doors. Whatever role it is, it’s necessitated by the current circumstances in our country."

Several students said seeing current Georgia Rep. Jody Hice’s voting record was all the more of a reason to get involved in the District 10 race.

Madison Cooper, a junior political science major from Augusta, said she knew she wanted to “primary Hice out” after working at the House of Representatives last summer and getting to know the representative.

Cooper is now the fundraising coordinator for Republican Joe Hunt’s campaign.

Cooper said she believed it was essential that the next District 10 representative worked for bipartisan solutions but also that the district didn’t flip to the Democrats.

“With District 10 growing more and more liberal each year, it’s important for me that the district doesn’t flip,” Cooper said. “I think Joe has a better chance of working with Democrats than Jody Hice does because Hice is so far right. I think Joe will be able to rally people of all ideologies.”

Hunt has several other UGA students on his campaign staff including Liam Watson, his campaign manager; Alan Rosa, the deputy campaign manager; and John Fuerniss, the communication director.

Watson, a freshman international affairs major and Democrat, is campaigning for a Republican candidate because Hunt’s commitment to bipartisan support drew him in to the campaign.

“It’s important to put a vision of where America needs to be going rather than your party affiliation,” Watson said. “I think the long and short of it, Jody Hice lowers the bar for politics in America. I think he sets the bar so incredibly low that it’s hard not to trip over it sometimes and fall down to that level.”

Some student volunteers are focusing their efforts on how to market a candidate.

Aditya Krishnaswamy, a sophomore statistics and math major from Marietta, volunteers for Democrat Richard Dien Winfield’s campaign.

Krishnaswamy works on the campaign data team to understand what issues the voter population care about.

He said two issues voters seem to be passionate about is gun reform and Winfield’s federal jobs guarantee. Knowing that, he hopes to help Winfield with phone banking and canvassing to talk with the community about these issues.

John Fuerniss, a senior international affairs major from Macon and communication director for Hunt’s campaign, said he jumped into the campaign as a way of going beyond the boundaries of a government class lecture, similar to other students.

“I knew I wanted to stay plugged into politics and do something more than sitting in class learning about it,”  Fuerniss said.

District 10 candidates include Richard Dien Winfield, Chalis Montgomery, Tabitha Johnson-Green, Joe Hunt, Bradley Griffin and incumbent Jody Hice.

Primary elections will be held May 22.

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