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 45

How does your background equip you for the job you are seeking?

My background in finance, health care, and operations is needed in Georgia to ensure the taxpayer dollars are being diligently managed and to prevent the closure of additional hospitals.

What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?

I believe in a limited government. The role of limited government is one whose primary function is protecting people and their property. It levies just enough taxes to finance services related to these purposes. I spoke against adding another layer of government by incorporating East Cobb. I believe in a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.

If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?

Georgians are worried about the local economy, health care and education. These are the areas where I will spend my time working hard to find solutions that enhance everyone’s lives. In addition, small businesses and veterans are a vital part of our workforce. I will partner with them to help ensure their livelihood is prosperous. Finally, I will support the expansion of Medicaid, which will close the gap of 500,000 uninsured Georgians and create over 60,000 jobs to our state. Thirty-three other states have accomplished this, and it’s time for Georgia to step up. We are coming out of the coronavirus pandemic and seeing the harmful effects it had on schools. Action must be taken to make up the gap that many of these student are feeling academically and socially.

Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?

We are all Georgians and call Georgia home. We raise our families, work, worship, and play in this great state. Despite our differences, we still have more in common than we realize. I will look out for every Georgian in and out of my district. But, I always ask myself these questions. “Is it the truth?” “Is it fair to all concerned and beneficial to all concerned?” If the answer is yes, then I’ll be in favor of supporting those initiatives.

Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?

Former State Rep and Hero – John Lewis – “a fiercely partisan Democrat but … also fiercely independent.” He believed in his heart what was true, and he lived that in his everyday life. Against all odds, he stood up, demonstrated unrivaled courage in the face of injustice, and fostered the civil rights movement into existence. He didn’t always vote party lines; he stood up for what was right regardless of party affiliation. He also knew how and when to reach across the aisle for the betterment of the people and ultimately get the job done.

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?

Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs is tasked with ensuring every Georgia citizen has the opportunity to have access to safe and affordable housing, no matter their community or income. A community’s housing options are key building blocks in the community fabric. I will work with local governments, housing authorities, for-profit and non-profit developers, community groups, and landlords statewide to continue finding solutions that meet all Georgians’ housing and community needs.

Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?

I prefer to compromise and have legislation be bipartisan. We should work together to pass bills that will enrich our communities and provide goodwill to all Georgians. To compromise is to understand the other person’s point of view and have empathy and acknowledge their concerns. If everyone could do that, we wouldn’t have such partisan politics.

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?

I do believe that our elections are secure and safe. I trust in the process and each county’s board of elections to get it right; we have to; there are no other options. So I stand by the process, and if everything checks out, I will stand by those results.

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion.

While I believe in the sanctity of life and that of an unborn child, the heartbeat bills overstep their intended purpose of providing goodwill and protection for the unborn and mother. I strongly oppose the heartbeat bill, which threatens a woman’s bodily autonomy. Reproductive health care decisions are between a woman and her trusted health care provider, not the state legislators. Instead of listening to the leading OB-GYNs, the bill architects arbitrarily and ignorantly attempted to define fetal personhood, a pseudo-scientific concept. Medical experts, including Georgia legislators with a health care background, do not support these bills regardless of party affiliation. We must enact protections that reduce the maternal mortality rate and support women’s personal decisions about when and under what circumstances they should carry a pregnancy to term. You can’t ban abortion; you can only ban safe abortion; this legislation will cost lives.

Are there any programs/legislation you’ve sponsored or created to help people with disabilities?

I am on the executive board of MDE School in East Cobb, a nonprofit school for children and young adults with disabilities. I advocate for kids to have the proper resources to provide them with the maximum potential to succeed and reach their full potential. Our schools need additional counselors and mental health experts. Unfortunately, in some schools, the counselor-to-student ratio is 400:1. This is unacceptable; we can and should be doing more for these kids that need extra help. Assistance at a young age during a pivot point in their lives, where intervention can make all the difference, is an excellent place to put additional resources.

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?

We need to be spending more on education and health care. We should be investing in future generations of fellow Georgians and ensuring that they are healthy enough to provide for themselves. Our hospitals are closing, teachers are retiring, and nurses are fleeing. We must invest in ourselves to sustain a prosperous future. Infrastructure is another place that needs investment. Our highways are congested, we have limited rail options, and our bridges are deteriorating. Finally, we need to plan for a carless society and additional technological advancements that will be here in 10-20 years. In the future, people won’t own cars. Instead, people will summon a car, and an electronic pod will come to pick you up and take you where you need to go. All the “cars” will be interconnected and automated, reducing traffic congestion and providing safer, more comfortable transport.

The Legislature often votes along party lines. When would you seek bipartisan action and what issues merit such consensus?

All issues should seek bipartisan support and super-majority consensus. The bills are more reflective of the people when written with all parties having input. The decisiveness and extreme partisan politics have to end. I will lead my fellow legislatures to reach across the aisle and do what is best for all Georgians.