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Meet the candidates - Gwinnett

District 1 Commission

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Jace Brooks

Jace Brooks

• Party: Republican

• Age: 43

• Education: MBA in Marketing from Georgia State University; MA in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; BS in Finance from Louisiana Tech University

• Occupation: Financial Planner

• Political Experience: Suwanee City Council, 2002 – 2012; Suwanee Planning/Zoning Board, 2001 – 2002

• Family: Wife Kirste; Children Ally, 11, and Aidan, 11

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a conservative who believes in efficient government, low taxes, and personal liberty and responsibility. I’m the only candidate in this race with a proven record of cutting spending, lowering taxes and attracting jobs. I will continue to implement these proven conservative solutions at the county level.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

The top issue is restoring trust in county government. Beyond that, we must create the proper environment in Gwinnett to effectively attract new businesses and high-paying private sector jobs. New jobs will help expand the tax base, fill our empty houses and retail centers and improve Gwinnett home values.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

Character and competence. As a Suwanee councilmember and dedicated family man, I’ve demonstrated I have the character to build trust and the competence to lead. During my tenure, Suwanee became award-winning, ranked as a Money Magazine top 10 place to live and Kiplinger’s #3 in the nation for raising children.

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Laurie McClain

Laurie McClain

• Party: Republican

• Age: 48

• Education: Parkview High School, 1981; BBA in Accounting from Georgia State University, 1986

• Occupation: Certified Public Accountant

• Political Experience: Appointed to Gwinnett Water & Sewer Authority 2011, Chairman’s Budget Review Committee, 2010, 2011

• Family: Unmarried; Children Paul, 23, Heather, 20, Wilson, 11

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a conservative with common sense. I am a firm believer in government being no larger than is necessary to provide core services to its stakeholders. I will immediately begin to look for ways to streamline processes and drive more efficient and higher quality customer service.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My top priority will be to look for ways that government can encourage job creation in the county. I will review and analyze incentives and other strategic avenues to bring more higher paying, quality jobs to the county. One way to do this is to make it easier to be in business here and I have some ideas on how to do that.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I am not a politician. As a CPA for 27 years, I have worked exclusively with small business owners and I understand the challenges that they face doing business in this county. As a long time resident of Gwinnett (35 years), my loyalty is to the county not any particular community. Even though I don’t have elected government experience, I have a very thorough knowledge of the issues of this county and I’m ready to tackle them.

District 3 Commission

Mike Beaudreau (i)

• Party: Republican

• Age: 37

• Education: Bachelor of Arts from Clemson University

• Occupation: National Accounts Manager, Ricoh Corporation

• Political Experience: Gwinnett County Commissioner since 2005. Chairman of State of Georgia’s Housing Trust Fund for the Homeless

• Family: Wife Tegwen; 7-month-old daughter Mary Margaret

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a small government conservative who has never voted to increase taxes. I believe county government should first provide essential services, including public safety and roads. I will work to promote economic growth, which provides the additional tax revenue needed for quality of life amenities like parks and libraries.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My top priority is to promote economic development and job growth. The recession and loss of jobs mean homeowners pay more than their share of the county’s taxes. By bringing in more companies with high paying jobs, we can broaden the tax base and make way for reduced taxes.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

My experience on the Board in my third and final term will be useful as we rebuild from the recession and from the loss of trust due to the actions of former commissioners. Unlike my competitors, I’ve made the difficult decisions that keep Gwinnett ahead of other area counties.

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Tommy Hunter

Tommy Hunter

• Party: Republican

• Age: 41

• Education: B.S. Civil Engineering Technology, Transportation Systems and Planning from Southern Tech, 1993

• Occupation: Civil Engineer

• Political Experience: Gwinnett County Water & Sewerage Authority, District 3, 2005 - 2009; Gwinnett County Planning Commission, District 4, 2011 - 2012

• Family: Wife Judith; Daughter Lauren, 15, Son Devin, 13

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I believe government intrusion into people’s lives through taxes, fees and regulations is the biggest hindrance to a free market and a vibrant local economy. I will work hard to lessen or remove as many of these burdens as possible and prevent the implementation of new ones.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Diversification and protection of our water source. I believe we must take into consideration the recommendations of the 2008 Reservoir Study Committee and investigate new, supplemental sources of water to protect against drought and protect the long-term stability of our local economy.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I am a native and lifelong resident of the area and have watched our county grow up. I have worked inside the government, in appointed positions, and in running businesses. I have set policy, implemented policy, and have been directly affected by those policies.

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Mike Korom

Mike Korom

• Party: Republican

• Age: 53

• Education: Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Baldwin Wallace College, 1981

• Occupation: self-employed

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Diane; sons Kyle, 27, Tyler, 21

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am an authentic social and economic conservative – a classic “Reagan Republican.” Traditional values and fiscal restraint have always driven my decision-making and leadership style. I will represent Gwinnett’s District 3 just as I have managed my business, family and friendships throughout the years — by drawing upon innate conservative ideals.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My primary mission is to transform the commission’s “Country Club Republican” culture into one of genuine middle-class conservatism. Gwinnett government has too often aimed to serve the county’s affluent, land barons and developers. I will tilt the commission back toward a mindset of serving citizens and preserving their individual liberties.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I have never before held public office in Gwinnett. I have never been deposed for being associated with crimes against Gwinnett’s citizens. I have never been formally reprimanded by the county for deliberate nepotism and back-room dealing. I have never exhibited municipal leadership so inept that it garnered statewide headlines.

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Jerry Oberholtzer

Jerry Oberholtzer

• Party: Republican

• Age: 53

• Education: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Clemson University, 1981

• Occupation: Licensed Professional Civil Engineer

• Political Experience: Mayor of Snellville, 2003-2011; City Council Member in Snellville, 2000-2003

• Family: Wife Roxann; sons Jerry, 27, Matthew, 24, and Paul, 23; one grandson

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I believe in conservative Republican values of pro-family, pro-business, small limited government and individual freedom. I have gained a great deal of personal satisfaction in making my community a better place to live. I have learned that public service, done with dedication and energy, will make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

The county commission still makes too many decisions “behind closed doors”. All county real estate purchases, legal discussions and personnel decisions are being made in executive sessions. I would require that all those sessions be video recorded and released to the public as soon as possible, but in no event longer than one year from the final deposition of the matter.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

I am the only candidate with both executive and legislative experience. I served both as mayor and city council member in Snellville. I know how government works.

In my years of service in Snellville, there was never a scandal, an ethics complaint, an investigation by law enforcement, Grand Jury testimony or indictments. Governance in Snellville was sometimes contentious but never dishonest.

Congress - District 4

Courtney L. Dillard

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 49

• Education: BA in Religion from Luther Rice University; MBA Candidate at Liberty University

• Occupation: Real Estate Developer / Small Business Owner (family-owned business)

• Political Experience: Rockdale County Democratic Party Leader

• Family: Wife Dr. Gayla Dillard MD; Children Erica, 32, Amber, 28, Courtney Jr., 21, Jordan, 17, Murad, 16; two grandchildren

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a second-generation entrepreneur. I believe that supporting small businesses is the key to creating good jobs and a vibrant community. Justice, Fairness and Faith are important themes for growth and the development of our society. These American values are important to me. I will represent all the people in our district.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle?

You must learn to listen first before you can lead; which is why I began my campaign with a “Listening Tour” of the 4th District. During my visits to Newton, Rockdale, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties I discovered that Mortgage and Foreclosure fraud are the No. 1 issues affecting our community, and will be my No. 1 priority.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

1) I believe in American Judeo-Christian values. I honor “In GOD we trust” as our nation’s motto. 2) I will fight for Justice and Fairness for the victims of Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud. 3) I will oppose the T-SPLOST until governance and public policy mandates dictate the fair and equal treatment of MBE, WBE, SBEs (Minority-Business Enterprises, Women-Business Enterprises and Small-Business Enterprises.)

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Hank Johnson

Henry “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (i)

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 57

• Education: Law Degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, 1979; Undergraduate degree from Clark College, 1976 |

• Occupation: Congressman (Attorney)

• Political Experience: Congressman, Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District, 2007-present; DeKalb County Commissioner, Fifth District, 2001-2006; DeKalb County Magistrate Court Judge, 1989-2000.

• Family: Wife Mereda Davis Johnson; two adult children, Randi and Alex.

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Looking out for middle class and working families, speaking up for the hard-working Americans. That’s what drives everything I do as a Congressman from legislation I propose — The Help Entrepreneurs Act, Arbitration Fairness Act and the Fair Employment Act — to legislation I support — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — I work for constituents and policies that rebuild the middle class. I’m not in Washington to represent corporations.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Jobs and the economy: We must invest in our infrastructure, education and clean energy sectors to help grow the economy and create jobs.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

My experience and record of results.

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Lincoln Nunnally

Lincoln Nunnally

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 32

• Education: Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University

• Occupation: Business Consultant

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Rebekah; 17-month-old son

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Serve the People.

Each decision should be made with the end goal in mind of serving the benefit of constituents by helping them support their family and improving their lives.

If a proposed action will help people support their family and improve their lives we should support the action.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My main goal is to help the “Invisible Poor.” People earning $30,000 per year are living on a poverty level of income because almost 50 percent of their paycheck goes to paying taxes. We need to implement a Consumption tax to reduce the burden on our low income earners.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

As the youngest person running for U.S. Congress I can relate to average people in a way the other two candidates cannot. I experienced the problems and struggles average people deal with and can personally relate to how legislation will help or hurt our average citizens.

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Greg Pallen

Greg Pallen

• Party: Republican

• Age: 43

• Education: Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Georgia, 1990

• Occupation: President of Pallen Enterprises, Incorporated

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Single

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

First and foremost, I am a conservative. I believe in fiscal conservatism and it will drive me to find ways to balance the budget. Wasteful spending must be stopped and I will address this issue on my first day in office, starting with Congressional pay and benefits.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Balancing the budget and getting wasteful spending under control.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I have 26 years of business experience pinching pennies and balancing budgets. I built an extremely successful business by working hard and working smart. My personal belief is that the pastors should stick to their pulpits, the lawyers to their litigation and let proven leaders solve our problems in Washington.

J. Chris Vaughn

• Party: Republican

• Age: 46

• Occupation: Senior Pastor at Grace Summit Church

• Political Experience: Secretary/Treasurer of Meadowbrook HOA

• Family: Wife Lisa; Children Sarah Beth, 21, Molly, 18, and Luke, 13

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Government is best when it is smallest and closest to the people. The federal government is taking to strong of a role in the daily lives of individuals and businesses. I will work to see the excessive taxes, regulations, and spending reduced and taken off the backs of the middle class and businesses.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Working to see our economy turn around and jobs created. Congress needs to work to see long term tax reform so that stability can come to the economic markets, and business; along with long term debt reduction to secure our nations financial future.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

Having lived in the 4th District going on 11 years now, I understand the hardships facing the families of Rockdale, DeKalb, Newton, and Newton. As a person who has been involved in church and faith based communities for 25+ years, I’m committed to helping people at the point of their need, and working for solutions.

Congress - District 7

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David Hancock

David Hancock

• Party: Republican

• Age: 51

• Education: Computer Engineering Degree from Auburn University

• Occupation: Chief Operating Officer of ACP

• Political Experience: Planning and Zoning Commissioner for the city of Suwanee; District Manager for the Gwinnett Republican Party

• Family: Wife Darlene; Children Ann, 21, Michael, 19

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

The Constitution was designed to limit government and must govern every decision. The federal government has grown far beyond the limited powers defined by the founders. Congress should not be ruled by politicians but be run by citizens who serve for a few years and then return to their community.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

We are borrowing 43 cents of every dollar that we spend. We must stop spending more money than we take in, and not over the next 20 years. We need to do it immediately. Republican compromises have resulted in $2 trillion additional debt since the 2012 election.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I am not raising any money and will spend no time campaigning for reelection. I will not accept a federal pension and will not serve more than two terms. I will not vote to raise the debt limit or to increase spending. I have worked in Georgia for 30 years.

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Rep. Rob Woodall, Republican congressman from Georgia's 7th District

Rob Woodall (i)

• Party: Republican

• Age: 42

• Education: J.D. from University of Georgia

• Occupation: 7th District Member of Congress

• Political Experience: Member of Congress

• Family: single

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I believe that the closer to home decisions are made about how Americans are governed, the better those decisions will be. In Washington, I prioritize reducing the size and scope of the federal government and returning that control to state and local governments, and to the people. In Georgia, I focus on serving individual 7th district families with their federal government needs, making the world better one family at the time. Too many members of Congress believe that their world revolves around Washington; I am certain that my energy and service is centered right here at home

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

The FairTax remains my first priority. It is the single most powerful bill in Congress today. It will transform this nation’s economy and put us back on a track to prosperity, and it will return more freedom and control back to the American people.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

My commitment from day one has been to never work for the next election but rather to work to earn the votes that I received in the last election. Good policy — not good politics — drives my decisions. I also have a special commitment to serving the people in this district. I know that with individual casework I can make a big difference one family at the time. This family-focused service not only solves problems here at home; it ensures that I remain connected and involved when making voting decisions in Washington, DC. Of all the things that folks may say about me and my office, they will never say that this is “politics as usual.”

Congress - District 10

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Paul Broun

Paul Broun (i)

• Party: Republican

• Age: 66

• Education: Graduate of UGA and Medical College of Georgia

• Occupation: Medical Doctor. Former Marine now serving as Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

• Political Experience: Member of U.S. House of Representatives since 2007

• Family: Wife Niki; three adult children; two grandchildren.

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a constitutional conservative. I submit all legislation to a Four Way Test: 1. Is it morally correct? 2. Is it constitutional? 3. Is it necessary? 4. Is it affordable? If the answer to each of these isn’t “yes,” then I do not support the bill. Sometimes I receive criticism and pay a political price because of my votes, but I am consistently true to the Constitution and conservative principles.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with my Patient OPTION Act (H.R. 4224). Reducing taxes and job-restricting regulations on small businesses so that our private sector economy can grow; my JOBS Act will do just that. Significantly reducing the outrageous spending in Washington and the deficits that are absolutely bankrupting America.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

This session of Congress I offered the most measures to reduce outrageous federal spending. Leading conservative groups have honored my work:

National Taxpayers Union — “Taxpayers’ Friend ”

Citizens Against Government Waste — “Taxpayer Super Hero ”

Americans for Tax Reform — “Hero of the Taxpayer”

Endorsed by NRA.

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Stephen Simpson

Stephen Simpson

• Party: Republican

• Age: 61

• Education: MBA in Finance from Mercer University; MS in Systems Management from University of Southern California; BBA in Management from Georgia College and State University; Georgia Military College Prep School

• Occupation: Retired Army Officer, Small Business Owner

• Political Experience: Gubernatorial appointee to Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and Georgia Music Hall of Fame

• Family: Wife Susan; Sons Stephen Jr. and Scott; one grandchild

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My 20-year military career, being a business owner making payroll, and my extensive community involvement have kept me in touch with the real issues facing the 10th district. Farmers have seen out-of-control regulators make their jobs increasingly difficult, and community banks have seen draconian regulations — such as Dodd-Frank — make it much more difficult, if not impossible, to make loans to qualified businesses. I’m a proven leader and not a politician. I will work diligently to support the needs of our constituents by being accessible and accountable to the voters.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

The biggest single issue facing all Americans is our continued deficit spending and mounting national debt now approaching $16 Trillion dollars. In the banking business we have “Truth in Lending.” When our politicians talk to the voters we should have. “Truth in Politics.” We will never see sustained economic growth until we (1.) Have a balanced budget, (2.) Have fundamental Tax Reform that encourages business development without penalizing those who success and (3.) Begin paying down our national debt, and that will require reforming our entitlements system. It’s going to be painful, but the longer we wait the greater the probability the US will become another Greece.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I believe that I have the ability to bring about positive change that will benefit Americans because of my experience working in the Pentagon, dealing with Congress, as small business owner, and getting substantial results. Like so many Americans, I am frustrated — if not downright angry — with the bickering and blaming in Washington where nothing gets accomplished. Common sense and the ability to fight for the people you are supposed to represent are left behind in this environment. We need leaders in Washington that will work for us, not for them.

Senate - District 9

Don Balfour (i)

• Party: Republican

• Age: 55

• Education: Bob Jones University, bachelor's degree in accounting; Fairleigh Dickinson University, master's of business administration

• Occupation: Businessman

• Political Experience: State Senate since 1992

• Family: Wife Ginny; one son

What is your political philosophy, and how will it drive your role in office?

Balfour could not be reached for comment. On his campaign website, he extols his conservative values.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Balfour’s website stresses his work to protect Second Amendment rights, strengthen efforts to discourage illegal immigration, freeze property taxes, restrict the use of eminent domain, and his work on pro-life measures. He is also pushing for stronger ethics laws, the site states.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

Balfour is the longest serving Republican in the State Senate. He is Chairman of the powerful Senate Rules Committee, serves on the Appropriations Committee, Education Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee.

Travis Bowden

• Party: Republican

• Age: 30

• Education: Parkview High School; Georgia State University, bachelor's degree in political science

• Occupation: Businessman

• Political Experience: District Director and Capitol Aide to former State Rep. Melvin Everson; Chairman of the Georgia Republican Liberty Caucus; Southern Regional Director for the National Republican Liberty Caucus; former Recording Secretary and Board Member of the Gwinnett County Republican Party; Chairman and Founder of the Gwinnett Young Republicans

• Family: Single

What is your political philosophy, and how will it drive your role in office?

Georgia needs jobs and to control its spending and taxation. I will work with local leaders to recruit industry, and I will personally fight to cut taxes and wasteful spending. I will be a relentless servant for the people every day I am in office.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle. Government spending in Georgia has drained taxpayers for years. Government must shrink in Georgia, and I will be tireless in finding wasteful programs to cut from the budget. Cutting taxes and shrinking government will be major concerns for me as an elected official. Georgia must reduce its burden on taxpayers.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

The people who matter the most are the people in the district, and no one else. I will fight to return jobs to the district and to cut spending — I have the experience to do both. I will never lose sight of the people in the district and their concerns.

Steve Ramey

• Party: Republican

• Age: 62

• Education: Some college

• Occupation: Publishing company, owner

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Nancy; five children

What is your political philosophy, and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a Constitutional Conservative. I believe in lower taxes, smaller government and less government intrusion into the lives of citizens. I will diligently work for ethics reform in Georgia.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

It is difficult to name just one when so many are prevalent. Add jobs for Georgians, promote States Rights to limit federal advancement in decision making for Georgia, stop illegal immigration and give the people, not just corporate entities, representation.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I have declared not to take lobbyists gifts. I will have monthly town hall meetings with constituents, will make every effort to save jobs for Georgia citizens, work to reduce corporate taxes in Georgia to attract more companies and help guide our public school system to provide an adequate workforce for new companies to hire.

Senate - District 47

Frank Ginn (i)

• Party: Republican

• Age: 50

• Education: University of Georgia, bachelor's degree in ag engineering

• Occupation: Engineer

• Political Experience: One term in State Senate; government manager of two cities (Sugar Hill and Royston) and one county (Franklin)

• Family: Wife Robin; daughter, Catherine

What is your political philosophy, and how will it drive your role in office?

Government exists to serve the public, and to only provide services which (citizens) can’t do individually. As we look at issues, we’re here to promote the wise use of your tax dollars. When people look at government, I think people make the best decisions for themselves at home. I’d like to limit the power of the federal government just like I’d like to limit the power the state has.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

One of the things that goes from community to community in our state is some of the issues like marketing that entails jobs, natural resources, transportation and economic development — and that all goes into jobs. (We need to) improve our state’s marketability … We’ve got a great governor that’s pushing to make Georgia the most attractive place to do business in the world. I like to tell people we live in the best part of the best state in the best country in the world.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I’m not here to run down or run over anybody else that’s running. I want people to look at my education and experience. My decision-making ability and my ability to work with others to accomplish a goal.

Daniel Yearwood

• Party: Republican

• Age: 62

• Education: Winder Barrow High School; some college

• Occupation: Businessman

• Political Experience: Current Barrow County Commission Chairman

• Family: Wife Deborah; two children; four grandchildren

What is your political philosophy, and how will it drive your role in office?

We the people. Ethics first. We must hold our elected officials accountable. Pro life, anti-tax. Second Amendment — U.S. Constitution is the law.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Ethics.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

Better government, not bigger; lower taxes not raise them. Pro life. Life begins at conception.

Senate - District 55

Gloria Butler (i)

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 70

• Education: Bethune Cookman College, bachelor's degree in business administration

• Occupation: State Senator

• Political Experience: Elected 1998 to Georgia State Senate

• Family: Two daughters; two grandchildren; one great-grandson

What is your political philosophy, and how will it drive your role in office?

I have always put the citizens of the 55th Senate District first. I have the courage to speak out on the tough issues and have established myself as a respected and trustworthy legislator. My votes prove that I am an advocate for women’s rights, a fighter for youth and education, and a servant to DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Continue to focus on building strong families; creating an educated workforce; and stand up for working families who are struggling to pay their mortgage, buy health insurance, and put food on their tables.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I am experienced. I am a champion for democratic values and principles. I have served in a leadership position since being elected in 1998: Deputy Whip for 12 years, and Finance Director of Fund-raising for the Senate Democratic Caucus. I have authored and coauthored over 100 pieces of legislation since 1999. I am committed and dedicated to making life better for the residents of the 55th Senate District.

Mark Williams

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 43

• Education: Morehouse College, BA in accounting; Auburn University, degree in Med School counseling

• Occupation: High school counselor

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Lisa; son Isaiah, 5

What is your political philosophy, and how will it drive your role in office?

To serve the interest of the people and not special interests. This will ensure my visibility in the community.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Education, public safety, and responsible and accountable leadership are all equally important to me.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

My visibility in the community. My willingness to engage all constituents in District 55. The fact that I live on the Gwinnett side and work on the Dekalb side of (District) 55 puts me in a unique position to understand the needs of the entire district. Lastly, you won’t just see me during election time.

State House - District 81

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Chris Boedeker

Chris Boedeker

• Party: Republican

• Age: 31

• Education: North Gwinnett High School; bachelor’s degrees in economics and sociology from University of Georgia

• Occupation: Attorney

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Jessica; one daughter and a son on the way

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I believe that we must restore the free-market principles of limited government and individual responsibility to Georgia’s state government. Having grown up in Georgia and being active in my community, I have watched over the years as our state representatives have used public office to pursue their own self-interest. What we need now is a servant-leader, guided by conservative principles.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Ethics reform is an important issue for the voters I have met with in House District 81. I believe that we can achieve sustained ethics reform by increasing the accountability of elected officials and lobbyists through meaningful penalties, and by the developing a system for top to bottom transparency.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I do not believe that government serves as an engine for economic growth. This is the failed policy of the Obama administration. I believe government can best serve our economy by reducing regulations that impede private business growth — the true economic development engine for our state.

Carla Roberts

• Party: Republican

• Age: 50

• Education: Medical College of Georgia and Emory University

• Occupation: Physician

• Family: Husband Al; daughter, Cally

Candidate did not respond.

State House - District 93

Dexter Dawston

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 40

• Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science from University of South Florida

• Occupation: Truck driver

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Ruth; son and daughter

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My philosophy is listen to the people. Then, if I listen to the people, it will help me with their needs and wants in Georgia.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

I want to create jobs through entrepreneurship and help get their own jobs started. I also want to help with foreclosures and creating benefits for Georgia veterans.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

This is an easy one. I think I’m the only one who has true unique ideas. I’m more concerned about the people, not the party. It’s more about the people and their needs that need to be met, not the party and what the needs of the party need to be met.

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Dar’shun N. Kendrick

Dar’shun N. Kendrick (i)

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 29

• Education: Bachelor’s degrees in political science and communications from Oglethorpe University; Juris doctorate from University of Georgia and a master’s in business administration from Kennesaw State University

• Occupation: Attorney

• Political Experience: State Representative from House District 94

• Family: Single

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My philosophy in general is that leadership is about service; service to my community, colleagues, constituents and those around me. ... There can be no leadership without service. I have dedicated my life to public service and it has driven the way I run my legislative office. Nothing matters to me more than constituent services and constituents come first, no matter what I am doing while serving on Capitol Hill.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Jobs and economic growth for which I proposed a bill last session to help with this. The second issue is foreclosure reform for which I proposed a bill.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

I’m not new to politics. Since the age of 18 I knew that public service was where I wanted to serve and dedicate my life to. I am the incumbent, representing 58,000 Georgians from DeKalb and Rockdale county well in the General Assembly during the 2011 and 2012 sessions. I am young (compared to most in the General Assembly) and the second youngest member of the Georgia General Assembly and although some see that as a lack of experience, I believe I have accomplished a lot more than individuals my age, so imagine what I could do this next decade based on what I have done the last decade of my life.

Glen Williams

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 44

• Education: Indiana University

• Occupation: IT Consultant

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Lisa; 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I would not necessarily call it a political philosophy but what has made me successful collaborating with others in getting the job done is my being able to have an open and objective mind when working with others and if you show respect you will get respect.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

One of my initiatives is to spur economic development along Ga. Highway 124 from Snellville into Lithonia by working with the Gwinnett, DeKalb and State Chamber of Commerce by seeking those businesses that best suits the land use for the commercial corridor

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

I am the only candidate that actually has been active in the Snellville and Loganville area for over a decade working with the local schools, clergy, HOA’s and business owners for the betterment of our community. That is why when the newly created House District 93 was formed I saw an opportunity to take what I have been doing for the past decade as a community organizer to the states highest level and serve the community as a true representative.

State House - District 94

Karen Bennett

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 56

• Education: Bachelor’s degree from Howard University; master’s degree from Georgia State University and master’s of divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University

• Occupation: Small business owner

• Political experience: DeKalb Commission Zoning and Land Use Committee; DeKalb Board of Commissioner’s Revenue Enhancement Committee

• Family: Husband Leroy; two adult children, Jabari and Asha

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My political philosophy is to serve with integrity as a servant leader. People who are impacted by the decisions we make and the things we do are our stakeholders; and represent our greatest resources. This drives my role in office because I will listen, be informed and as your Representative, serve responsively as a true voice of the people.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My top goal is to bring jobs to our district and promote economic development in Georgia. Jobs and economic development impact the sustainability of the quality of our life in the ability to fully fund our public education, provide access to affordable housing, adequate healthcare and improve our public safety.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

I care about my community and the people whom I wish to serve. I have proven integrity, training and experience to serve as the next Representative of House District 94. Families have entrusted their children to me for over two decades. I now ask for that same confidence in entrusting me as the next State Representative of House District 94.

Patricia Bourdeau

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 38

• Occupation: Teacher

Candidate did not respond.

Tony Lentini

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 47

• Education: Bachelor’s degree in business, Oglethorpe University, 1987; master’s degree in education, Georgia State University, 1992

• Occupation: Works in finance at Yellow Pages

• Political experience: Two-time Democratic candidate House District 106

• Family: Spouse Wife Patricia; twin sons Frank and Brian, 16

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My political philosophy is to try to help others and to treat them equally. I feel that I can get along with just about anyone and am genuinely concerned about their problems and concerns. I feel my work with the yellow pages has helped me in this dealing with all types of customers and working with them on their businesses.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Foreclosures; it is tearing our communities and neighborhoods apart. It is destroying also families, and has become a socioeconomic crisis. Also it is eroding out tax base and not allowing us to offer good services and schools. There needs to be laws passed to help those who need help and are willing to work on their mortgages. The laws are stacked against the consumer.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

I am a native Atlantan and have lived all of my 47 years in DeKalb and Gwinnett. I guess I am a local product. I was educated in DeKalb, live now in Gwinnett and my wife and myself both work in DeKalb. Having worked at AT&T Yellow Pages for 23 years I see the first hand struggling of our small business owners in the area also. I have studied and been involved in the Georgia legislature since I was a teen. I first paged at age 10 for then Senator Pierre Howard. Also I have a good relationship with several of the current legislators.

Jaye Lynn Peabody

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 39

• Education: Bachelor’s degree from Ramapo College of New Jersey, 1995; master’s degree in public administration from New York University, 1998; master’s degree of divinity from Mercer University, 2011; master’s degree of arts from Mercer University, 2011

• Occupation: Executive director and counselor, Covenant Counseling & Family Resource Center in Snellville

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Children Adrian, 19, Kendall, 11, Jaden, 9, Maya, 5

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

This campaign is not about a personal political ideology. I strongly believe that public servants have the opportunity and more importantly the responsibility to provide help, assistance and guidance to those who need it, whether it is advocating for teachers and parents to ensure that our students educational needs are met, promoting and supporting legislation targeted at providing quality affordable and accessible healthcare particularly for women and children, and working to keep small and large businesses in our community while attracting more businesses and entrepreneurs to come the district. My philosophy is very simple: to serve the needs and interests of my constituents to the very best of my ability.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

First things first: Constituent Services will be my top priority. This includes helping residents with navigating the maze that is state government and ensuring that their needs are met, including housing assistance, education and small business grants.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

My experience in both nonprofit management and health care administration has trained me to maximize services while decreasing expenses. Working in the area of maternal and child health for over a decade, serving as a youth pastor at various churches, and currently working as an executive director of a nonprofit counseling center, have allowed me to successfully create programs, that have increased the self-esteem of children and instilled healthy lifestyles. My therapeutic background provides a platform to engage even the toughest challenges while creating a win-win solution for everyday Georgians. My passion for service is reflected in my years of community advocacy.

State House - District 96

Mark Gorman

• Party: Republican

• Age: 25

• Education: Norcross High School, 2005; some college

• Occupation: Self-employed carpenter at Gorman’s Remodeling

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Single

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Even though I am a republican, I believe it is important that we all work together. Just because I have opinion on an issue does not always mean it is the one you will agree with. Being able to work with both parties to reach a solution that is the best for the constituents is very important to me.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Ethics has become a big problem in Georgia politics, and I want to help change that. When elected I am going to fight for better funding for the ethics commission, so they can enforce the rules already in place. The ethics commission has a very limited amount of funding and a small staff for the whole state of Georgia. If we could give them the tools they need we will see an improvement in Georgia ethics.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

As an Irish emigrant, I am just trying to live out the American dream. Ever since I came here in 1989, I feel a great respect for America and all that it has to offer me. On top of getting involved in politics, I also have been active in many charities in the community. It is my mission to take advantage of all the opportunities I can in America, so I can help preserve its greatness.

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Mark Williams

Mark Williams

• Party: Republican

• Age: 50

• Education: Berkmar High School; Georgia State University

• Occupation: Printer, co-owner of Printing Trade Company

• Political Experience: Chairman for five years of Gwinnett Place CID; former chairman of Gwinnett County Recreation Authority; Gwinnett County Revitalization Task Force

• Family: Three adult children, James, Joshua and Jessica

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office.

We need leadership to rein in our out of control government. The intrusion into our lives has gotten out of control. We need to give more control back to our local jurisdictions, and take away some control from state and federal. I will focus on this philosophy as I study each bill that comes before me in the house.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Getting control of our government, instead of it controlling us. As Thomas Jefferson said, “A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” It’s too big and too powerful.

What sets you apart from your competitor(s)?

I have a strong record of marching to the head of problems, and charging ahead with solutions, not just talking about them. Anyone that knows me, will tell you, “Mark gets things done.” The voters in my district know me. They have seen me working in their community for many years. That sets me apart. I’m not just doing something to show community service for a campaign. My stripes remain the same as before I decided to step up to run for office.

State House - District 97

Brooks Coleman

• Party: Republican

• Age: 72

• Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mercer University;’ Masters Degree from the University of Georgia; Specialist Degree from the University of Georgia; Doctorate of Philosophy from Georgia State University

• Occupation: Retired educator, motivational speaker

• Political Experience: Georgia General Assembly for the past 20 years

• Family: Wife Mary Claire Coleman; daughter Amy Ann Mock, 42, son-in-law Stephen, 45; grandchildren Patrick, 11, and Teresa, 8

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I have and will continue to work hard to bring decision-making and government closer to the people. This is a core principle that resonates deeply within me. I strongly believe that government should be the peoples’ handmaiden, not the other way around. When it is large, remote, and untamed it can not serve effectively. As I continue the important work of representing you, I will continue holding weekly town hall meeting to consult with my constituents. For the past 10 years, I have been conducting these meetings on Saturday mornings in Duluth at the Duluth Rexall Grill.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Raising the bar for education remains a top priority for me. Having been a teacher, with a daughter teaching first grade and two grandchildren attending public school, I know how important public education is to our community and Georgia. I know that moving our state forward, creating good jobs and changing lives for the better, depends on a quality education system.

To that end I sponsored House Bill 192 which created the state education finance study committee, composed of 20 educators, legislators and key business leaders. Its purpose is to study the cost and resources required to educate Georgia’s children and make recommendations to the legislature based on its findings. Instead of a top down approach, the legislation is intended to allow local schools to involve parents, teachers and community leaders in the decision making process. During the 2013 session the committee plans to complete the study and offer proposed legislation to the governor and the legislature.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

It has been my pleasure to serve as the voice of the people of the 97th district in the Georgia General Assembly for the past 20 years. Serving our great communities is one of the best things I have ever done. As a 30 year educator in Gwinnett County school system and as a community servant I want to continue working for the people of our great county, putting their best interest first. Nobody works harder for the people of Gwinnett. Experience, dedication, hard work, chairman of a major committee (education), and lots of energy is what distinguishes my candidacy from my competitor.

Robert J. McClure

• Party: Republican

• Age: 22

• Education: B.A. Political Science, University of Georgia; Pursuing a J.D. from Georgia State College of Law

• Occupation: Law student

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Single

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My entire political outlook is based upon the premise that government should remain small and responsive to the people. Government must be constrained by the Constitution, so that the personal liberties Georgians cherish are never threatened.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Ethics. Holding public office is a community service and privilege and should not be a tool to promote one’s own financial standing or private business interests.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

My opposition to T-SPLOST. I believe Georgia voters will reject this waste of taxpayer money and hopefully will give the boot to the so-called Republicans that supported it.

State House - District 103

Timothy Barr

• Party: Republican

• Age: 31

• Occupation: Small business owner

• Political experience: None

• Family: Wife Melinda, daughters Liberty and Haven

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My political philosophy is that politicians make laws to protect the rights of individuals and preserve freedom by limiting government. I would like to see less government intrusion in our lives, allowing us to make the decisions for our families. If elected, I will filter every bill that crosses my desk to ensure it empowers the family, lowers taxes, grows jobs, and reduces the size of government.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Protecting freedom and liberty and bringing a fair tax to Georgia. 

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I have the passion to see our liberties protected and will do everything I can to allow my two daughters to grow up with the same freedoms that I enjoyed. I’ve been a staffer in the House and Senate and understand how the process works. I have learned many sound principles from running a debt- free business and would like to take those principles to the capitol.

Ken Russell

• Party: Republican

• Age: 77

• Education: BS Biology, College of Charleston (S.C.). MS Forensic Science, George Washington University (WDC)

• Occupation: U.S. Navy Veteran, retired FBI Special Agent, and small business owner

• Political experience: None

• Family: Wife Eleanor; sons Todd, Sean, Scott and Kevin; six grandchildren

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Conservative Republican since reading Barry Goldwater’s “Conscience of a Conservative” followed by William F. Buckley’s “Man and God” at Yale. I believe “Conservative Republican” means small, efficient and responsible government that is also fiscally accountable to the citizens. The government should be well aware that it would cease to exist without our hard-earned tax dollars. I want first and foremost to be responsible to my constituents on a daily basis; this can be accomplished via the Internet, phone, texting, email, etc. I will always vote based on the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, I will always adhere to my principles of small government, fiscal conservatism and personal responsibility.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

I see my top goal as being proactive regarding economic development. The greatest thing the government can do to support economic development is implement fiscal responsibility and to reduce the regulations that get in the way of small businesses. I will actively work to remove red tape and regulations from day one. The state cannot move forward on other important issues when we are suffering financially — we have already had three straight short-fall budget years.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I think what sets me apart from my opponent is my real life experience. The majority of my career was spent serving our great nation. After college, I was a research assistant at the Medical University of South Carolina. I then served five years as a U.S. Naval Officer on sea duty, I spent an additional five years as an NCIS Special Agent which included a one-year assignment in Vietnam. I then served 18 years as a FBI Special Agent, and finally as a small businessman.

State House - District 105

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Joyce Chandler

Joyce Chandler

• Party: Republican

• Age: 72

• Education: Doctor of Education in Counseling from the University of Georgia; Master of Science in Counseling from Auburn University; Bachelor of Arts in English and social studies from Samford University

• Occupation: Retired educator, small business owner, and executive director of a state nonprofit organization

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Husband Martin; daughters Kelle Chandler Ray, 46, Lesle Chandler Allen, 44, eight grandchildren

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My faith governs my values, morals and political philosophy and will be the driving force in my role as representative. I believe that Godly principles should be evidenced at all times by our elected officials. If elected, I promise that I will consistently uphold these principles and will actively pursue that more and more transparency is evidenced at the state capitol. I promise to represent the people of District 105 with integrity and honesty.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

As the grandmother of eight and as one who has a heart for all children, I am especially concerned about the future of our state. It seems impossible, in my opinion, to separate the need for strengthening education for all of Georgia’s children and the need for strengthening our economic situation. While recognizing that parents are the ones to determine the most appropriate way to educate their children, public education, which serves most children and young people in our state, must provide quality education for all involved. With improved economic situations in our state, we will be better able to provide full funding for public education while also providing relief for parents who choose to educate their children through other venues than public education. In public education, pupil-teacher ratios must be reduced.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

I am the only candidate in the State House District 105 race who has experience in working in education, in beginning and managing a small business, and in leading the efforts of a nonprofit organization. My 36 years of experience in working in the education field and in keeping a nonprofit organization alive during these difficult financial times make me uniquely qualified to serve. As owner of a small consulting business, I understand the budgeting process and the necessity for living within one’s budget and, also, know how to listen and learn from others.

Damon Ladd-Thomas

• Party: Republican

• Age: 41

• Education: BA Economics, George Washington University 

• Occupation: Investment professional

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Tatyana; son DJ 12, daughters Emma, 10, and Madelyn 8

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a fiscal conservative and a small government Republican. I will support with fervor any legislation that supports our state and federal constitution and reduces the size and scope of government. I will also support local small business and make sure there are no legislative disadvantages to keep people doing business locally.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Reducing the size and complexity of the state government to provide for a simpler budget and understanding. Attracting and supporting businesses to make our district their home.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

Only candidate from the private sector. Only candidate that has signed the No Lobby over $100 gift pledge. Only candidate that took the time to personally knock on as many doors in this district as possible, to get to know all of the 54,000 constituents and attempt to understand their concerns. I am the only candidate that has spent every campaign dollar to only local Georgia vendors for all of our campaign needs to help the local economy.

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Renita Hamilton

Renita Hamilton

• Party: Democrat

• Age: 37

• Education: Master’s strategic leadership

• Occupation: Small business owner

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Son Kaleb, 13

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My political philosophy is I believe in human rights. The inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being. This will drive my role as State Representative for District 105 because I will support and advocate for the will of the people and not special interest or narrow views.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

The top goal or issue I want to tackle is job creation, education, child support reform and small business initiatives. Jobs can be created through education, training, and programs that help Gwinnettians obtain the skills needed to excel in the industry of choice. Education reform through finding ways to put money back into the hope scholarship, to date, new materials and school books for all children, plus pay raises for teachers in Georgia. Child support reform to toughen up on delinquency to help single mothers take care of their children. Small business initiatives that assist with the consumer experience, incentive marketing plans, and small business training programs to assist entrepreneurs.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

The attributes that set me apart from my competitor are my knowledge of the issues, the fact I am solutions based, I have experience in leadership, and my work ethic set me apart from my competitors. No candidate will outwork me nor has the energy level I do. I bring a fresh approach, innovative ideas, and vibrant solutions that are based in real facts relevant to today. I am today and tomorrow’s candidate. My candidacy is reflective of the district; I embrace all constituents from any socioeconomic and culturally diverse background.

Rashid Malik

• Party: Democratic

• Age: 52

• Occupation: Educator

The candidate did not respond to requests for additional information.

State House - District 114

Tom Kirby

• Party: Republican

• Age: 51

• Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture Economics from the University of Kentucky

• Occupation: Human resource safety consultant

• Political Experience: State representative elected this year

• Family: Wife Rosemary Kirby; daughter Courtney Angel, 22, son-in-law Damien Angel; daughter Leslie Kirby, 19,

daughter Peyton Kirby, 12

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a conservative Constitutionalist. The founding fathers gave us a clear vision of how government is suppose to function. The Constitution clearly states the powers and limits of the federal government and then reinforces that those powers not expressed in the Constitution remain with the States or the People. Government has encroached on too many of our liberties. It is time that we start to regain those liberties and put government back in its rightful role.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Reintroduce the Government Accountability Act. This legislation was overwhelmingly passed in the last session only to be vetoed by Governor Deal. This bill set up legislative review committees to look at every state agency and executive appointment that receives money from the state. Those legislative committees would then start the process to eliminate those who where no longer beneficial. This will be a good tool in reducing the size of government and is long overdue.

I will be working on legislation to end human-animal hybrids in Georgia. This Frankenstein science of mixing human and animal cells is going too far and it is time we say, “Not in Georgia” to this practice.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

The first thing that sets me apart from my opponent is that I have a record of public service prior to seeking office. From the time I spent on The Chamber Board of Directors including Vice Chairman of Economic Development, to being part of the team that launched the Career Academy and then served as Chairman of the Board. ... I have also been active in support of the Fair Tax. ... The most important thing that separates me from my opponent is service to the citizens of the district. Being their representative more than just the 40 days of the legislative session.

Rod Upton

• Party: Republican

• Age: 31

• Education: Some college

• Occupation: Owner of a septic and plumbing company

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife LaRae; six children

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My political philosophy involves a healthy suspicion of government and a belief that local control affords the best oversight of our tax dollars. As a business owner, I am committed to limiting the size of state government and helping to create a better environment for business creation and growth in Georgia. I believe in the protection of human life at all stages.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Considering the condition of our state’s economy, job creation and growth will be one of my top concerns in this next legislative cycle. Our state government is getting in the way of the free market through over-regulation and bureaucratic red tape. Business owners understand that government growth hinders business growth.

What sets you apart from your competitor?

As a small/limited-government candidate, I am committed to keeping our taxes lower in order to stop funding an overgrown government. I am the only person in this race who is completely opposed to the T-SPLOST transportation sales tax, because I believe that we should not reward a wasteful government by giving it more money. We should eliminate waste, and not look for creative ways to fund it.

State House - District 117

Doug McKillip

• Party: Republican

• Age: 42

• Occupation: Lawyer

• Political Experience: Georgia House of Representatives since 2006

• Family: Wife Mary, sons Jackson, 10, William, 7 and John Maxwell, 5

The candidate did not respond to requests for additional information.

Regina Quick

• Party: Republican

• Age: 48

• Occupation: Attorney

The candidate did not respond to requests for additional info.

Superior Court judgeship

Tracey Mason Blasi

• Age: 50

• Education: South Gwinnett High School; B.A. in economics and French from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; juris doctor from Georgia State University

• Occupation: Attorney, mediator/arbitrator

• Political Experience: Municipal Court judge for city of Duluth

• Family: Husband Ronald; daughters Macy, 24, and Caitlin, 23

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I believe that a judge’s primary responsibility is to uphold the U.S. and Georgia’s Constitution, meting out justice in a fair and impartial way while treating everyone in his/her courtroom with respect. A commitment to integrity and to this community is essential. I am dedicated to bringing to the bench the honor and competence that the position demands.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

I have visited the mental health court in Athens-Clarke County and have researched how Gwinnett could benefit from this type of accountability court, as it has benefitted from DUI and drug courts. The underlying issues of non-violent offenders are addressed there, getting them back to work, paying taxes, instead of costing us more tax dollars.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I am a ninth generation Gwinnettian and am committed to continuing my tradition of service to this community in the was that I would be most effective, as the next Superior Court judge. I am the only candidate with a distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell, have both judicial experience and broad experience as a sole practitioner.

Christopher McClurg

• Age: 43

• Education: Bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University; juris doctor from Emory University

• Occupation: Attorney, former CPA

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Martina; son Tyler, 23

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Judges make decisions, not laws. I will follow the U.S. Constitution, Georgia Constitution and lawfully enacted statutes. I will provide a fair, impartial and dignified setting for all who enter my courtroom, and give everyone the opportunity to be heard.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Streamline calendaring and do keying to reduce unnecessary indigent defense fees, lost time from work for litigants, and more expedient on matters that need to be heard. Justice delayed is justice denied.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I have the broadest and deepest trial experience of all of my competitors. I have had domestic, civil and criminal jury trials. I have appealed cases to the Georgia Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. I have been appointed on over 100 occasions to represent children as a guardian ad litem.

Kathy Schrader

• Age: 50

• Education: B.A. in political science from University of Georgia; juris doctor from Mercer University

• Occupation: Municipal court judge, attorney, mediator

• Political Experience: Municipal Court judge for city of Duluth, 2005 to present; Municipal Court judge for city of Sugar Hill, 2007 to present; appointed twice to Governor’s Office for Children and Families, 2005-12; appointed to Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, 2008-10

• Family: Husband Richard; children Russell, 21, Katie, 19, and Joey, 16

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Our federal and state constitutions are the cornerstones of our legal system. I will continue to interpret laws in a fair, independent and competent manner recognizing these fundamental rights and treat each individual with the utmost dignity and respect during their case, as I have in my courts for nearly eight years.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My top goal is to improve access to the court’s resources and protections by implementing strategies of justice reform. Through proven national models, we can insure timely hearings, address the domestic violence crisis in our community, eliminate corruption and collaborate with community resources to improve outcomes for everyone in the system.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

My character, credentials, and dedication to our community for 25 years uniquely qualifies me to understand the impact that conflict and violence is having on our community, to implement established resources and programs available to address these important issues, and most importantly, to grasp the profound nature that any decision of the court has on those involved.

Giles Sexton

• Age: 43

• Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from University of Georgia; juris doctor from John Marshall Law School

• Occupation: Attorney, owner of Sexton & Sexton Law Office

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Shellie, daughters Isabel, 11, and Taylor, 5

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My philosophy is that the role of a Superior Court judge should not be politically driven or motivated. As a judge, I must remain neutral and non-partisan, following the mandates of the Constitution as it applies to each case brought before me, based upon the related evidence and testimony.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

One primary goal is to maximize judicial efficiency, ensuring all parties involved are treated fairly and their cases are tried in a timely manner. Streamlining and updating processes and procedures could save Gwinnett revenue, which could be redirected towards new initiatives such as rehabilitative programs for non-violent offenders, for example.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

First, the scope and depth of my courtroom experience with types of cases often tried in Superior Court, including serious felonies, complex civil issues, domestic cases, and appellate cases in Georgia’s Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court. Secondly, I have no political ties to special interest groups or corporations.

Robert Walker

• Age: 48

• Education: B.A. in history from Emory University; Juris doctor from University of Florida

• Occupation: Gwinnett Magistrate judge

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Melissa; children Madison, 12, Kellen, 10, and Alana, 8

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Fairness and courteous treatment of all who come before me. I would combine these qualities with the timely scheduling of cases so that people get their cases heard as swiftly as possible.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Maintain an efficient running of the courtroom while at the same time keeping costs of running the court down. I would also work towards the establishment of more accountability courts, such as mental health court and veteran’s court.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

Actual Superior Court judicial experience. Over these past four years, I have presided over serious, violent felony trials, domestic or divorce trials, and contract and business dispute trials. In fact, I am the only candidate to preside over jury trials at any court level.

State Judge

Emily Brantley

• Age: unanswered

• Education: Bachelor’s degree from Pfeiffer University; Juris doctor from Georgia State University

• Occupation: Attorney

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Husband Frank, daughters Christina, 21, Laurena, 18, and Megan, 16

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

My political philosophy is the same one on which our nation was founded. Everyone has a right to equal treatment under the law. No exceptions: the law applies equally to all. As a judge my role is to follow the law, enforce the rules, and give everyone a voice.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My top goal on the bench will be the preserve the courts as an honorable place where citizens can resolve disputes. Recently several incidents have brought into question the people’s trust and respect for government and the law. As judge, I will work to restore and preserve that trust.

What sets you apart from you competitors?

No other candidate has more civil trial experience than I do. That experience has equipped me with the tools to address the sort of cases that are unique to the State Court. My experience and ethics have placed me in the top 5 percent of female lawyers according to Martindale-Hubbell.

Pam Britt

• Age: Not answered

• Education: Bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from Georgia State University

• Occupation: General practice attorney

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Husband Robert, daughter Paige Wilder and granddaughter Morgan Wilder

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a conservative candidate who pledges, when elected, to serve the people of Gwinnett County with integrity, honor and fairness to all. The citizens of Gwinnett deserve a judge who will put the Constitution and justice before politics and will treat every person with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

The top issue of the court is more courts of appointment, such as DUI, drug court and mental health court to assist citizens with substance abuse rehabilitation and treatment for low-level offenders as an alternative to rising and costly taxpayer-funded incarceration. Court efficiency is also paramount.

What sets you apart from you competitors?

I bring 20 years of practical real world work and business experience as well as 15 years of legal experience in Gwinnett County. I have handled more cases in Gwinnett County as an attorney than any of my opponents ... I have both civil and criminal experience, a thorough knowledge of the law, and the right judicial temperament.

Norman H. Cuadra

• Age: 45

• Education: B.H.S. degree in rehabilitative services and counseling from University of Florida; Juris doctor from Nova Southeastern University

• Occupation: Attorney, municipal court judge in Doraville

• Political Experience: Appointed municipal court judge in 2005; appointed municipal court chair for Commission on Interpreters in 2010; elected 4th District representative for Municipal Court Council in 2010

• Family: Wife Jill, daughters Juliana, 14, Kathryn, 12, and Christina, 9

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I want to instill confidence in the public’s perception of the courts by bringing respect, integrity, knowledge and diversity to the bench. Everyone entering that courtroom will know that they will be treated fairly and with respect by a judge with knowledge of the law. You will get justice.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My top goal will be to create more efficiency in the courtroom by the use of 21st century technology. This will save the taxpayers money, the parties time, and allow the clerk to operate more efficiently. This will be accomplished through e-filing, Internet communication, electronic signature, and Skype technology.

What sets you apart from you competitors?

I have presided over criminal cases as a judge and tried both civil and criminal cases as a lawyer. I have leadership experience in local bar and government organizations by election and/or appointment. I have been endorsed by the Gwinnett Forum and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

Greg Lundy

• Age: 46

• Education: Bachelor’s degree in business management from Georgia College; juris doctor from John Marshall Law School

• Occupation: Senior staff attorney for Gwinnett Superior Court

• Political Experience: Municipal court judge for city of Suwanee

• Family: Wife Sherri, children Meghan, 18, Jackson, 5, and Brylie, 3

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Our judicial system is vital to our society. My legal career has been dedicated to the improvement of the judicial process. I am a firm believer in the Constitution, and I will work hard to insure that our laws are enforced and that the rights of our citizens are protected.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Gwinnett County has one of the most efficient court systems in Georgia, but there is always room for improvement. Gwinnett has implemented DUI and drug court programs to stop the cycle of addiction and repeat offenders, with remarkable success. I would like to help implement a mental health court.

What sets you apart from you competitors?

I have the perfect combination of private practice and judicial experience. As a trial attorney I handled both criminal and civil litigation. I have served as a municipal court judge for the city of Suwanee. Unlike other candidates, I have attended the National Judicial College to sharpen my judicial skills.

Richard Winegarden

• Age: 63

• Education: Graduate of University of Michigan School of Business and Wayne State University School of Law

• Political Experience: Gwinnett County State Court judge from 1983-87; Gwinnett County Superior Court judge from 1987-2008

• Family: Divorced; children Jennifer, 35, Jeffrey, 31, and Emily, 17; five grandchildren

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

A judge must always be honest and impartial. A judge must do their best to be fair to all parties and to make sure everyone has a chance to be heard. A judge must be a strong leader who can guide parties with very different viewpoints the judicial process.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

Retiring Judge Robert Mock has served for many years. With my 25 years experience as a trial judge, including four years in his exact position, I want his cases to continue to move efficiently without any delay which might be caused by a new judge having to learn the job.

What sets you apart from you competitors?

I have already served four years as a Gwinnett State Court judge. I have already served 21 years as a Gwinnett Superior Court judge. None of my competitors have served in either position. There is a big difference between “watching” a judge and “being” a judge.

Probate Judge

Christopher “Chris” Ballar

• Age: 41

• Political Party: Republican

• Education: B.A. in history from Oglethorpe University; juris doctor from Mercer University

• Occupation: Estate planning and elder law attorney

• Political Experience: None

• Family: Wife Amy and daughters Jane, 11, and Shea, 8

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

I am a conservative Constitutionalist who supports lower taxes, less government and thinks people should be free to follow their own pursuits. As judge I will respect the Constitution and enforce the separation of the branches of government by not legislating from the bench.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

I want to work to make access to the Court easier through technology, educational outreach programs, and case consolidation. Responsive answers to problems is also a priority and I will work to make sure orders are issued quickly and efficiently by myself and the clerks.

What sets you apart from you competitor?

I am the only candidate with experience representing clients before the Probate Court. This is important because it gives me a true understanding of what people want from the Court. The judge must answer to the public and I have been answering to my voting clients my entire legal career.

Marlene Duwell

• Age: 50

• Political Party: Republican

• Education: B.S. in engineering science from Vanderbilt University; juris doctor from University of Georgia; certificate in local government management from University of Georgia

• Occupation: Attorney and chief clerk of Gwinnett Probate Court

• Political Experience: Appointed as Gwinnett probate court law clerk from 1995-98; appointed as chief clerk of Gwinnett probate court from 1997 to present; appointed as hearing officer for Gwinnett probate court from 2001 to present

• Family: Husband Les Capouya, daughter Rachel, 21

What is your political philosophy and how will it drive your role in office?

Political positions on issues should never influence a judge’s decisions. As a judge I will hear the facts of each case and make my decisions based upon the proper application of law. My judicial philosophy is that alternatives to litigation bring about more effective resolution to cases than court orders.

Name your top goal or issue you want to tackle.

My goal is to replace the Probate Court’s computer system to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Improved technology will allow the Court to receive online filings, make the hearing calendar available to the public, streamline the estates/guardianships annual reporting system, and simplify the marriage and gun permit application process.

What sets you apart from you competitor?

Experience running the Court and hearing cases as a judge makes me effective from Day 1. My competitor has no experience running a court or serving as a judge. My proven commitment to public service and my willingness to learn every aspect of the Court operations before I asked the citizens to elect me judge also sets me apart.