Shelia Edwards picks up endorsements from Sen. Rhett and Olympic gold medal winner Melvin Pender

Shelia Edwards picks up endorsementsShelia Edwards (photo courtesy of Shelia Edwards)

Shelia Edwards, a Democratic candidate for Cobb County Board of Commissioners District 4 seat, picked up endorsements from state Senator Michael “Doc” Rhett, and Olympic gold medalist and decorated Vietnam veteran Melvin Pender, and his wife, Rev. Debbie Pender.

Senator Rhett was quoted in a press release distributed by the Edwards campaign: “I am wholeheartedly endorsing Shelia Edwards and think that she will do a great job as Cobb County Commissioner for District 4.”

Edwards wrote in the press release, “I am extremely grateful for Senator Rhett’s endorsement of my candidacy for District 4 Commissioner.”

“As a distinguished leader in our community and at the State Capitol, Senator Rhett knows that I have a proven track record of community leadership and service,” she wrote. “His support is a major validation that the work that I have been doing in the community is recognized.”

“I have a great level of respect for Senator Rhett’s commitment to South Cobb and view him as an “architect” who can get things done, which is reflected in his positive track record at the State Capitol.”

“Senator Rhett and I share the same perspective that there are major issues to address in our community and that it will take all of us moving in the same direction to bring about positive changes,” she wrote. “Once elected, I promise to work diligently with Senator Rhett and others to bring about the smart economic growth and development our community deserves, while addressing the overall quality of life needs of South Cobb.”

Rhett represents state Senate District 33, which stretches from Marietta and Fair Oaks on the northeast to Powder Springs and Austell on the southwest.

Melvin and Debbie Pender

Edwards also picked up the endorsement of Marietta resident Melvin Pender and his wife, the Rev. Debbie Pender.

Pender was a gold medalist on a record-setting American relay team at the 1968 Olympics. He ran in the Olympics while serving in the U.S. Army.

After the Olympics, Pender earned a Bronze Star in Vietnam, and retired from the Army after 21 years of service, with the rank of captain.

In endorsing Edwards, the Penders said:

We are supporting Shelia Edwards because she is the most qualified in the race to lead South Cobb. Shelia is extremely intelligent and is intensely knowledgeable of county government.

She uses her skillsets for the betterment of our community, which was on full display when she led a grassroots group of citizens to stop an illegal household waste transfer station that was operating next to their homes and the Chattahoochee River.

Shelia’s work to halt this community nuisance allowed new growth, economic development, and additional housing to be created on nearby Riverview Road in its place.