LAWRENCEVILLE -- The District 5 race includes an incumbent with about 40 years on the board of education, who is being challenged by a political newcomer looking to bring a fresh perspective to the job.
Republican candidate H.K. Dido, 40, touts "new ideas" he learned while serving on committees with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that accredited other schools. Leadership skills he gained as president of his homeowners association for the past seven years would also serve him well, Dido said.
Incumbent Democratic Candidate Louie Radloff said the District 5 post calls for someone with more experience.
In addition to holding the position for about 40 years, she has served as the local board of health chair for 25 years as well as founding the first mental health association in the state. Radloff has also been appointed by the governor in various capacities over the past several decades.
It's experience, she said, that sets her apart.
"I have insights into the critical budget issues, and I'm very involved in the community ... I have been for a long time," Radloff said.
Radloff said she sees the budget as one of the most important issues in education.
"Funding is an issue. We have to meet the needs of our kids," Radloff said. "We must focus on closing the achievement gap so that our children will be ready to go into the work world and help build the tax base for Gwinnett County."
Dido said he would like to focus on "improvements in all core subjects. I am seeking office because District 5 is lagging behind the rest of Gwinnett County schools."
Dido works for the Emory University School of Medicine.
Radloff is employed as executive director of Interlocking Communities, a nonprofit organization, in which she teaches, runs a program and serves as onsite administrator.
The District 5 post includes all or portions of the Berkmar, Duluth, Meadowcreek, and Norcross clusters in addition to GIVE West; Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology; Maxwell High School of Technology; and New Life Academy of Excellence in Norcross.