The responses to these questions were edited for length and clarity by the Georgia Decides team. Each candidate was allotted 150 words for each answer and some answers were trimmed in order to abide by that length requirement. Other edits were made to make sure readers can fully follow and understand the candidate responses.
Campaigning for: State House District 80
How does your background equip you for the job you are seeking?
As an engineer and attorney with considerable experience in both the private and public sectors, I bring an understanding of both worlds and how they can better work together. My diverse background provides an in-depth knowledge on many complex issues, which will be of great value to the state legislature in crafting legislation. As an advocate of local control of government, I drafted the city charters for both Dunwoody and Tucker, and fought for their cityhood. In my role as the first city attorney for both Tucker and Dunwoody, I set up the courts and prosecuted cases. Being a father of four children who attended public schools in DeKalb County, I strongly support teachers and all efforts to improve local schools. I also support youth programs and green spaces. As a nuclear engineer, I understand the value of safe clean energy. I’ve studied economics and have hands-on experience with, and understanding of, the harm of caused by over regulation by the government.
What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?
Government should provide good schools and safe communities without encroaching upon civil liberties. Schools can be made better by allowing school choice (such as charter schools or school choice vouchers). Also, parents should be informed on the curriculum and allowed to see all the educational materials provided in their public schools. Governments need to be tough on crime and ensure the court system actually prosecutes criminal activity. In addition, I am an avid supporter of the outdoors and green spaces. However, governments have become too expansive and invasive. I will work to reduce unnecessary government regulations and excess taxation.
If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?
I will strive to support local control by the citizenry, achieve great schools, build safer communities and promote smaller government. These are the areas that will make Georgia a better place to live, work and play.
Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?
Most people share common goals and desires such as good schools and safe communities. As a state representative, it will be my job to represent all Georgians in my district. Parents on both sides of the aisle want to know what is being taught to their children. Parents deserve to be heard without fear of repercussions or being criminally prosecuted for demanding that school boards listen to their concerns. Charter schools and school vouchers are not single-party issues. All people want safe communities where children can learn and play outdoors. Thus, governments need to be tough on crime and ensure the court system actually protects their citizens and prosecutes criminal activity. Solutions are only viable if they have broad public support. It will be my job to find and advocate for effective solutions that solve these problems.
Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?
Although there are many people I respect and admire, state Sen. Dan Weber from District 40 is at the top of my list. He held office in Georgia from 2005 to 2011. Weber had the ability to work effectively with both sides of the aisle to draft legislation on topics that were important to Georgians. His passion to improve public schools and create more localized government that is accountable and more responsive to local communities was amazing. He was respected by legislators from both sides of the aisle and was well-known for his honesty. This trait allowed him to work effectively, draft and enact important legislation, including the charter for the city of Dunwoody. I hope to continue his legacy of working effectively with both sides of the aisle on all important issues that improve Georgia for all Georgians, including lower taxes, better schools and a more responsive government.
Georgia has a lot to offer current and potential residents, but many parts of the state are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Please explain your proposed approach to address housing affordability through legislation and executive actions?
Helping residents cope with high housing prices can best be accomplished by allowing residents to keep more of their hard-earned money and ensuring a vibrant growing economy that provides good jobs with high wages. I support reducing job killing regulations and lowering taxes so that people can afford housing and other necessities.
Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?
Broad public and political support on an issue is always the goal. Effective long-term solutions are always the best course of action. Policies that are rammed through tend to be destructive and highly divisive. The only time to refuse to compromise is when the legislation will hurt the average working person, damage the economy, or violate the constitution.
There were politicians who questioned the outcomes of Georgia elections in 2018 and 2020. Do you think Georgia’s elections are secure and will you stand by the results?
Election integrity is vitally important to everyone who participates in the democratic process. It is our responsibility to devise a system that ensures broad access and creates confidence in the result. However, it is imperative that both sides abide by the results of an election, otherwise anarchy ensues. Nevertheless, if election anomalies are alleged, they should be fully investigated and, if necessary, corrected.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion.
This is a very difficult issue which people of good conscious can disagree on. However, there is widespread agreement that the life of a baby should not be terminated late in the pregnancy. My position is that I support Georgia’s heartbeat bill.
Are there any programs/legislation you’ve sponsored or created to help people with disabilities?
I feel strongly about this issue since I have family members and friends that have disabilities. Currently, the Americans with Disabilities Act is the law throughout the United States. The law is comprehensive and has well served a generation of disabled Americans. In addition, I support funding programs which provide assistance to disabled vets who have served our country, and others who have been disabled acting in service of the community, such as police and firefighters.
Georgia closed out its budget year with a “likely record surplus, billions of dollars in federal aid and a growing economy.” Georgia spends more than half of this money on education and health care. What would you want to see in the budget in terms of spending or taxes?
Education and health are important to the people of Georgia. Any surplus should be spent on improving infrastructure, a portion placed in reserve for emergencies and disasters and, most importantly, a portion returned to the taxpayers who paid the taxes in the first place. Also, ground up budgeting should be required of each department of the state in order to eliminate unnecessary or ineffective programs. After that, evaluate the feasibility of lowering or even eliminating state income taxes.
The Legislature often votes along party lines. When would you seek bipartisan action and what issues merit such consensus?
I look forward to working with members of both parties toward controlling spending and promoting commerce in Georgia. Any action that increases the budget, hinders the private sector, infringes in any way on individual rights, or expands the government should require bipartisan support.