SUWANEE -- In the Gwinnett County Board of Education District 1 race, two local businesswomen in their 60s seek to hold the office.
Two-term board member and Republican Carole Boyce, 62, is a public relations specialist with a local law firm.
Democratic challenger Jennah Es-Sudan, 60, is a small business owner and accountant in Snellville.
Es-Sudan said that, if elected, her longtime business expertise will serve well the taxpayers of Gwinnett County.
"I have a lot of business savvy based on my experience over the last 20 years as a chief financial officer and chief executive officer," Es-Sudan said.
Boyce said her experience on the local board of education gives her perspective on "a lot of ongoing initiatives."
"I'd like to continue to work to keep Gwinnett County Public Schools a highly reliable organization ... meaning failure is not an option for students, and we're working on ways to ensure that," Boyce said.
The two candidates have common ground in their opposition to a referendum slated for the Nov. 6 ballot, which aims to affirm the state's authority to charter independent public schools if voters say "yes."
Boyce feels "very concerned" about the matter.
"If it does pass, it's going to have a commission making decisions for our community, taking money from our community," Boyce said. "It seems like a deliberate attempt to devalue public education."
Es-Sudan feels the amendment could "deprive our students of resources."
"I think it's wrong. This amendment is going to take away from our schools what they already don't have. The schools already are operating on a deficit."
The District I post includes all or part of the Archer, Brookwood, Central Gwinnett, Dacula, Grayson, Mill Creek, Mountain View and South Gwinnett clusters, in addition to Hooper Renwick and Oakland Meadow School.