One of Gwinnett's most powerful women could soon be a congresswoman.
State Rep. Donna Sheldon announced this week she will be on next year's ballot for Congress. The District 10 race will replace U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, an Athens doctor who is currently pursuing the U.S. Senate seat Saxby Chambliss plans to retire from at the end of his term.
Sheldon, a businesswoman and grandmother from Dacula, is one of the most highly respected women in the General Assembly, serving as the House Majority Caucus chair.
"It has become increasingly clear that Washington is broken and no longer presents real solutions to the problems that face our citizens," Sheldon said when announcing her campaign. "I have worked to balance a budget every year as a Georgia legislator and to fight for principled conservative programs that allow people the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and for their families. That is the record and the agenda I will take to the United States Congress."
As vice-chairman of the Transportation Committee, she helped craft the transportation sales tax proposal, giving people a chance to vote on the issue.
The Republican has been a key player in several other issues, including serving on the Appropriation's Health subcommittee, as Speaker David Ralston's appointee to the Transportation Governance Study Commission and then Gov. Sonny Perdue's appointee to the Water Contingency Task Force.
Efstration announces House race
The race to replace Sheldon has already begun, even with another legislative session scheduled before the election is held.
Chuck Efstration, a former county prosecutor, stepped into the race for her state House District 104 seat Wednesday. He already filed paperwork.
"Since the conversations began that state Rep. Donna Sheldon was considering higher office, I have received an overwhelming amount of encouragement to run for State House. The support and encouragement of so many people has been very humbling," said Efstration, who served as chairman of the Gwinnett GOP several years ago before running for Congress himself in 2010.
"I thank Rep. Sheldon for her leadership as our Representative and commend her for her commitment to public service. However, the people of Gwinnett County deserve a conservative champion in the State House that will deliver bold, new ideas for our future," he said. "Georgia should be leading the country in job creation, education and innovation, but we won't get there with the stale ideas of the past. We need new, energetic leadership that will reform government, respect taxpayers, protect our schools and transform our district and state into a hub for job growth. I humbly ask for your prayers, and I look forward to earning your support."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at email@example.com.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.