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Athens Therapist Announces Run for Commission Seat

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Nearly a year before Athenians head to the polls to decide local races, one candidate is announcing her plans to seek office.

Andrea Farnham is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist in Athens. She’s announcing her intent to run for the District 8 Commissioner seat currently held by Commissioner Andy Herod.

“So my day job is a therapist and I see a ton of anxiety, depression, relationship issues, substance issues, akin to a mental health crisis in Athens,” Farnham said. “This mental health crisis has political antecedents.”

Farnham says she’s particularly concerned about Athens’s high poverty rate, especially along racial lines.

“We have a 30% poverty rate, 38% depending on who you talk to. We need a much more aggressive policy addressing poverty because it’s so racialized that we have massive racial and economic inequality. Black Athenians, because of our history and because of a lot of things, have been locked out o wealth-building opportunities for generations and generations.”

She says while Athens has a high poverty rate, it's not because resdients aren't working. The city's unemployment rate is under four percent.  Farnham claims the disparity has stressors for Athenians on both sides.

“On the bottom, it’s very stressful, kind of self-evident when you’re in poverty it’s extremely stressful, but it’s also stressful on the top because you’re anxious about falling in to the bottom.”

Primary Election Day is May 19, 2020. Local elections will be held in conjunction with the statewide direct primary election.