Gay At­lanta man launches bid for late Joan Gar­ner’s seat

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

By PATRICK SAUN­DERS psaun­ders@the­gavoice.com

Josh McNair, a gay At­lanta res­i­dent and Demo­crat, an­nounced on June 6 his bid for the Ful­ton County Com­mis­sion District 4 seat. The post was held by beloved County Com­mis­sioner Joan Gar­ner un­til her death in April from can­cer.

“I’m run­ning be­cause I be­lieve it’s time we re­store pride in be­ing a res­i­dent of Ful­ton County. We live in the largest county in our state: for me, that means ev­ery one of our res­i­dents should en­joy top-qual­ity county ser­vices,” McNair said in a press re­lease. “I have spent many years as a pro­gres­sive leader in Ful­ton County. From work­ing to elect Demo­cratic can­di­dates around the state to serv­ing as an of­fi­cer of my neigh­bor­hood as­so­ci­a­tion, I am pre­pared to do what it takes to tackle our is­sues and im- prove our com­mu­ni­ties.”

McNair, a life­long Ge­or­gian, grad­u­ated from New­nan High School in 2002 and went on to at­tend More­house Col­lege, which he grad­u­ated from in 2006. He worked as a con­sul­tant for multi­na­tional ac­count­ing firm Deloitte be­fore switch­ing ca­reers to health­care sales, where he presently works as a vi­rol­ogy clin­i­cal con­sul­tant for Mono­gram Bio­sciences, a biotech­nol­ogy lab­o­ra­tory that de­vel­ops di­ag­nos­tic prod­ucts to im­prove the treat­ment of HIV and Hep­ati­tis C.

McNair served as the fi­nance chair for Young Democrats of At­lanta, pub­lic safety chair for NPU-T and is cur­rently first vice pres­i­dent of the West End Neigh­bor­hood De­vel­op­ment. He is also a mem­ber of the Gen­tle­man’s Foun­da­tion, an At­lanta non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that sup­ports gay and bi­sex­ual men of color.

The elec­tion for the District 4 seat takes place Nov. 7.

Gar­ner took of­fice in 2011, with her wife, Ful­ton County State Court Judge Jane Mor­ri­son by her side. She quickly be­came known as “the health com­mis­sioner,” won re­elec­tion in 2014 and again last Novem­ber. She re­vealed her can­cer di­ag­no­sis in July 2015. Gar­ner was the co-founder of South­ern­ers On New Ground, the city’s first LGBT li­ai­son (for the late At­lanta Mayor May­nard Jack­son), served on the boards of Lambda Le­gal and the Gay and Les­bian Task Force, was a co-con­vener of the At­lanta African-Amer­i­can Les­bian Gay Al­liance, was an or­ga­nizer for the first Hu­man Rights Cam­paign din­ner in At­lanta and had a strong com­mit­ment to fight­ing HIV/AIDS, co-found­ing the Ful­ton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS, among nu­mer­ous other ini­tia­tives.

Gay At­lanta civic ac­tivist Josh McNair is a life­long Ge­or­gian and More­house grad­u­ate. (Photo via McNair cam­paign)

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