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Laken Riley murder inspires Georgia pizzeria owner to run for office: ‘I had a reality check’

The murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley has inspired a local pizzeria owner to run for office.

Sidney Anne Waters, who owns Mama Sid’s Pizza, is running for a slot on the Athens-Clarke County Commission because of Riley’s death — and the illegal immigrant who’s been arrested in connection with the brutal slaying.

“I… all of a sudden… had a reality check… There are a lot of us in Athens that really didn’t know what our government was doing… The day before… qualifying ending, I decided I would go in and put my name on the ticket,” Waters told Fox News Friday.

Waters, who hopes to oust incumbent Carol Myers in District 8, says local residents are very “concerned” about sanctuary city policies after Venezuelan migrant Jose Ibarra, 26, reportedly a member of the deadly Tren de Aragua gang, allegedly killed Riley, 22, when she was on a run near the University of Georgia campus last month.

Waters said she doesn’t understand why or how Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz decided to sign a 2019 resolution welcoming people “of all lands and backgrounds” — as well as illegal immigrants.

“Everybody is quite concerned because we have discovered that our local government is not transparent with us… They have resolutions and agreements going that the public had no idea about,” Waters said. “I don’t really know how familiar our commission was… with the 2019 resolution that opened up a lot of sanctuary. We’re not a sanctuary city, but we have sanctuary policies that somewhat control us.”

“Mayor Girtz just came out and read that policy one evening and signed it,” she continued. “He personally petitioned the US State Department for us to become a refugee resettlement site. Nobody knew about that, so what does all this mean? How many people have we welcomed into our community and who are they?”

Angry protesters called Girtz a “liar” with “blood on your hands” and demanded his resignation after Riley’s death.

“When you’re standing on the outside looking in and talking with them at different chamber meetings… You don’t think they’re listening,” Waters said. “And the way you get them to listen is to become a part of them… I want to be a part of the commission so I can at least express my opinion and know that they are heard.”


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