by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A candidate for the DeKalb County School Board is responding to critics who are making an issue of his past.
Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh obtained Bridgemon Bolger's arrest record after receiving a tip.
Kavanaugh found several arrests but only one misdemeanor conviction which is nearly 10 years old.
Bolger invited Kavanaugh to his home, and told her his past is the reason he is running for office.
"I'm currently the president of the Young Democrats of DeKalb County. I currently serve as the diversity and outreach chair for the Young Democrats of Georgia and I am the community service director to the Young Democrats of American Black Caucus,” Bolger said.
Critics of Bolger are pointing to his arrest record, but he was more than willing to discuss it.
"That does not define me today. And it actually motivates to help somebody in a similar situation that I was in," Bolger said.
Bolger opened up about several previous arrests, many of which occurred during his teenage years. His record shows the single misdemeanor conviction included a charge of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
"I want to show people who were in that spot that I was in, they don't have to be there forever and there's a path to success," Bolger said
The candidate told Kavanaugh he's focused on improving the district's graduation rate, getting more guidance counselors in schools, and improving student access to technology.
He's challenging the current school board chairman, Melvin Johnson.
Bolger said he knew running for office would open the door to questions about his past but voters have a right to know who they're electing.
"Why are we talking about things that happened 10 years ago? When I was child, when I made mistakes, what could you have done to help me?” he asked.