If you have followed their careers, both Teresa Cantrell and Chuck Efstration have seemed headed toward the ballot for years.
Cantrell, a former planning commissioner, has been outspoken on community issues and involved in everything from the PTA to her own small-town cafe, while Efstration’s beginnings as a prosecutor lead to work as the chairman of the Gwinnett GOP.
Now, with the District 104 seat centered in Dacula left vacant by Donna Sheldon’s focus on a congressional campaign, voters are set to choose between the two in a runoff Tuesday for the Georgia House of Representative.
“The citizens in District 104 deserve a representative with experience, proven conservative values, a defender of the constitution and religious liberties, a fighter for the best education for our kids and someone who has worked on pro-life issues,” said Cantrell, who has spent weeks talking to constituents to try to explain the difference between the two.
Both say their experience sets them apart, with Efstration touting a list of endorsements from local political leaders, while Cantrell boasts accolades from organizations like Georgia Right to Life and the NRA.
“My record of service to the community speaks for itself and makes me uniquely qualified to represent House District 104,” Estration said. “As an assistant district attorney, I worked in law enforcement to keep our families safe, and as the chairman of the Gwinnett Republican Party, I stood up our conservative principles and values.”
Estration says he has provided specific plans to improve the economy, including working to pass a state version of the FairTax, providing ethics reform and protection of schools.
But Cantrell points out that she has navigated the tax issues and regulations as a small business owner and traversed the public, private and homeschool choices when raising her four kids, while her opponent, just 30, is starting out in life.
“(Voters) have seen many politicians and know talk is cheap but success and experience matter,” she said.
Efstration says his age is an asset.
“If the people of House District 104 want an energetic, conservative leader they can trust to be there for them, do the right thing and secure a prosperous future, I ask for their votes,” he said.
Education: Norcross High School; Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts from Georgia State University;
Occupation: Small Business Owner and Mother
Political Experience: Gwinnett County Planning Commission 2001-2005 & 2007-2010
Family: Husband Mike; four children
Education: Greater Atlanta Christian School; University of Georgia, Bachelor of Arts; Mercer Law School, Juris Doctor
Occupation: Owner of a Small Business Law Firm
Political Experience: Former Chairman of the Gwinnett County Republican Party
Family: Engaged to marry Ashley Leachman