Second in a series of profiles of candidates in the 6th congressional special election

ATLANTA, Ga -- Ragin Edwards is disheartened that Georgia doesn’t have a female representative in Congress.

“We Democrats scream about diversity all of the time, but there’s no reason why a state with a 48-percent female population shouldn’t have a voice in Congress,” Edwards, one of 18 candidates running in the 6th congressional district special election, said. “If we truly believe in diversity, we should reaching for that today.”

The special election to replace Price, who is now President Donald Trump’s secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is set for April 18. All of the candidates will appear on one ballot, and a runoff is virtually assured in the race. The only way to avoid a runoff would be if one candidate receives 50 percent-plus-one on April 18, almost an impossibility in such a crowded race.

Edwards realizes she resides in a heavily red district, one that includes portions of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Doraville, Tucker, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek Milton and Mountain Park. Before it was last redrawn as part of Census reapportionment, Republicans Newt Gingrich and Johnny Isakson held the seat.

“I do tend to vote Democratic, and I have certain values that align with my party in terms of equality and education,” said Edwards, who is a senior manager of a global sales operation. “But I’m not a person who won’t listen to the other side, and I will take everyone’s voices into consideration.”

Georgia has only elected five women to Congress, most recently Cynthia McKinney in the 4th congressional district.

Edwards said the nation’s political spectrum has changed, and not for the better, over the last couple of decades.

“Today, if you don’t believe in everything the Republican or Democratic party says, then you’re not a real member of that party,” Edwards said. “There’s no room for your own opinion; either you’re a Montague or a Capulet, and you have to be willing to die for them.

“I want to be a voice of the people. Representatives are supposed to align for their district, not the other way around.”