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Loganville election features well-known candidates

This year’s election in Loganville features a crowded field of familiar faces to local politics.

Only two of the nine candidates for mayor and city council in the Nov. 5 election are newcomers to politics.

One of the three incumbents on the ballot, Mayor Dan Curry, ran unopposed in June in a special election after Ray Nunley passed away in April after a battle with lung cancer.

The seven council candidates are competing for three seats.

Most of the candidates placed traffic and infrastructure among their top priorities.

“It makes me want to work even harder when you have this many people,” incumbent Councilman Rey Martinez said. “It makes me want to work harder to earn every vote they’re going to cast for me.”

When he won the special election, Curry said being mayor means you think differently including when it’s time to “rally the troops.” Economic development along Main Street, with coffee shops, sandwich shops and office spaces is one of Curry’s priorities.

“With the economy showing a slight improvement we need to be ready to manage our growth and not let growth manage us,” Curry said. “Quality growth can be good for Loganville, bringing jobs and revenue for better roads and schools, and helping lessen the tax burden for our home owners.”

Curry’s challenger in the mayoral race, Jerry Price, said he would focus on relief for senior citizens and the community’s aging infrastructure.

“I watched the city of Atlanta fix stuff for 30 years,” Price said. “We need to replace stuff so we don’t ever have to fix it again; that takes time and money.”

Price, a former councilman, said a mayor needs to help the whole community.

“I don’t have any agenda, and I don’t have to do anybody any favors,” he said. “I feel like you should serve at the will of the people. Sometimes you need to listen to folks, no matter how you think it might sound.”

Bagley, who has eight years of local government experience on the Walton County Commission and the Loganville City Council, lost a council race in the June special election to political newcomer Jay Boland.

Bagley said knowledge, experience and time is what sets him apart from competitors.

“I am not tied to any special interest group of agenda,” he said. “I am the voice of the voiceless.”

Eileen Waring, who was on the city council in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010, said traffic, services and infrastructure are her top priorities.

“The city needs to re-develop their land inventory considering building up with physicians tower, hotel, conference center and satellite campus which in turn would bring a variety of skilled jobs to the city,” Waring said.

A Gwinnett County School Resource Officer, Pedro Vega said his top priority is public safety.

“It is so important that we provide a safe and secure environment for the citizens of Loganville and those who commute through our city on a day to day basis,” said Vega, who served on the council in 2008 and 2009.

Political newcomer Amanda Soesbe said the community is well positioned for future growth and development.

“I am most interested in the issues which have a direct effect on improved transportation and traffic-related issues, and sustainable economic development initiatives,” said Soesbe, who works at the Evermore Community Improvement District.

Fellow political newcomer Linda Dodd said she would also focus on traffic issues, and added that her lack of political experience is a positive.

“I’m not a politician,” she said. “I am a servant of the people who will listen and only commit to what I can truly do.”

Councilman Mark Kiddoo, who is chairman of the Finance and Audits committee, said Loganville has survived the recent economic downturn without layoffs, furloughs, or a reduction in service.

“Unlike Washington, D.C., in Loganville we find common ground and work together to move the city forward,” Kiddoo said. “I am proud of having taking part in that collaborative process and especially proud of the projects and programs Loganville has enacted. I have the proven leadership abilities to keep our finances strong, while maintaining a high level of city services.”


Mayor:


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Dan Curry

Dan Curry (i)

Age: 64

Education: Graduate of South Gwinnett High School

Occupation: Retired

Political Experience: Appointed Loganville Planning and Zoning Commissioner, March 2009; Elected Loganville City Council November 2009; re-elected Loganville City Council November 2011; Elected by the Council as Vice Mayor in January 2012 and again 2013; Elected Mayor in June of 2013

Family: Married, has two married daughters and four grandchildren


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Jerry Price

Jerry Price

Age: 64

Education: High school

Occupation: Retired, city of Atlanta

Political Experience: Eight years on the city council, vice mayor

Family: Wife Teresa, three adult kids, five grandchildren.


Council


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Chuck Bagley

Chuck Bagley

Age: 72

Education: Attended St. John’s University, 1963, and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia

Occupation: Retired BellSouth 1991, self employed owner The Smart Company 1191, 2004

Political Experience: Appointed city of Loganville Ethics Commission, elected Loganville City Council 2005–2008, elected Walton County Commissioner District 2 2009–2012, appointed Vice Chairman of Federal Policy Committee for Association of County Commissioners of Georgia in 2012

Family: Married to Fran Bagley after was widowed, two sons deceased; three grandchildren, Jason Anderson, 25, Jesse Anderson, 21, and Grace Anderson, 11.


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Linda Dodd

Linda Dodd

Age: 65

Education: High school graduate

Occupation: Retired

Political Experience: None

Family: Husband Freddy, two grown children Andy and Annette


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Mark Kiddoo

Mark Kiddoo (i)

Age: 50

Education: MBA in International Business from Georgia State University, Bachelor’s degree in Management from Georgia State University.

Occupation: Home educator

Political Experience: On the Loganville City Council for nine years, former mayor and current vice mayor, former member of Loganville’s Planning and Development Commission.

Family: Wife Susan, two children, Kimberly and Derek.


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Rey Martinez

Rey Martinez (i)

Age: 44

Education: Associate’s degree from Atlanta College

Occupation: Owner’s Reys Cuban Cafe in Loganville, 24-year Navy Veteran

Political Experience: Three years on Loganville City Council

Family: Two sons, Jesse, 16, Jason, 14


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Amanda Soesbe

Amanda Soesbe

Age: 41

Education: Some college

Occupation: Executive administrative assistant

Political Experience: None

Family: Husband John


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Pedro Vega

Pedro Vega

Age: 51

Education: Associate degree in Science, Bachelor’s degree in Business, Master’s degree in Education

Occupation: Law enforcement

Political Experience: Loganville City Council 2008-2009

Family: Daughter Lauren 9.


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Eileen Waring

Eileen Waring

Age: 65

Education: Wesley College Dover, Del.

Occupation: Retired Director of Finance and Administration

Political Experience: Served city council 2003-2004 and 2009-2010

Family: Daughter Christina Eileen, granddaughter Savannah Eileen