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 54
How does your background equip you for the job you are seeking?
In my real estate career I am helping people come together on both sides to achieve homeownership and making the transaction work. I am out in the field among the people of the district discussing neighborhood issues every day and believe in working together to resolve issues. I believe we can do better and part of that is working across party lines to write common-sense policy as well listening to our constituents. Running a business requires knowledge of planning, goal setting, hiring, marketing and making sure the bills get paid. I will apply my knowledge to representing the district.
What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?
To provide services to the people to ensure individuals are safe, laws are enforced, educate our children via the public school system, to ensure health care services are available along with services such as good roads, public transit and clean water. I will work with law enforcement to ensure they have the tools available to do their jobs. I will meet with the school boards to see what resources are needed to ensure classrooms are not overcrowded and that teachers have the right tools to help students. Health care is also vital. All Georgians should have access to quality health care. It’s time to cut the red tape and allow physician assistants to have more independence. This would reduce costs and give more options to people needing access to timely care. I will also work to ensure Georgians have access to mental health help.
If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?
Ensuring the safety of Georgians. We need to work with all law enforcement to bring crime under control locally. We have to work to stomp out gang activity, drug trafficking and human trafficking. Making sure local and state law enforcement have the needed tools at their disposal is critical. We also need to make a top tier education system. In addition, work on making sure government is spending tax money efficiently. Every person in Georgia is feeling the impact of inflation. Government needs to demonstrate money is being spent wisely and carefully, and to keep taxes low.
Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?
HD54 is politically diverse. I have supporters from all sides working to support me to get elected. WE need to get people together from all sides to have conversation just like I am doing to win HD54 for Buckhead and Sandy Springs Citizens. When we all sit down and discuss the real issues, we can truly make a difference. I believe in the people of Georgia – A VOTE for John Bailey is a VOTE for doing things for the people vs. a political interest.
Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?
The Founding Fathers. Without their sacrifices, we would not be here today with the freedoms we all have in the nation and state. The Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution gives all people in the nation a certain level of protection and an opportunity for individuals to live their lives.
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?
This is really important. Making sure our workforce and citizens have safe and quality housing is critical to having a great community and state. We need to work with developers and cities to ensure there is more affordable housing available where it is needed. In my district, the workforce can spend up to 50% of their income in travel expenses. We need to put together a committee to look into how to solve this issue because it affects everyone. Together, we can find a solution.
Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?
Have to listen to our constituents. When elected, I work for them. Working together is key to achieving results.
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 believe the 2022 elections are secure and there are many opportunities to ensure every Georgian has a chance to vote.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion.
I will listen to my constituents on this very important issue. We also need to ensure all Georgians fully understand the current law in place. There is a lot of misinformation floating around and it is important for individuals to know the truth.
Are there any programs/legislation you’ve sponsored or created to help people with disabilities?
Elect me and I will make it happen.
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?
Georgia is very fortunate to have a balanced budget and a surplus. The state needs to carefully consider all expenditures to ensure the state stays healthy while spending carefully to ensure taxes stay low. Areas to spend money: fully funding the GBI crime lab, creating industry that brings jobs to the state, cutting red tape to ensure all Georgians have good quality health care, utilizing technology to ensure departments work closer together while saving money, and reestablish mental health access for Georgians.
The Legislature often votes along party lines. When would you seek bipartisan action and what issues merit such consensus?
Fighting crime and improving education. All Georgians should feel safe. All Georgians should have access to great schools and education.