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 Senate District 14
How does your background equip you for the job you are seeking?
I have more than 20 years of dedication to Fulton County. Having served on the Fulton
County Board of Education, Johns Creek City Council, Fulton Board of Elections as well as the Board of Commissioners I am uniquely qualified for the top issues facing our community and our state. As a parent and grandparent, I understand the challenges facing our families today.
What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?
Job one is to put Georgia families first, ensuring that our neighborhoods are safe, that our law enforcement officers have the tools and training needed to combat crime, and that our children receive a quality education.
As our next state senator, I will work closely with community leaders on both sides of
the aisle, to pass policy wins that help all of us. That means resources for teachers, students, and parents to thrive in our school system, and well-trained, well-
equipped public safety officers to fight crime keeping our neighborhoods safe.
If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?
Crime is my top priority.
As a Fulton commissioner, I’ve worked closely with local police and public safety officers to ensure our homes are safe, and families protected. Most recently working to reopen the Alpharetta jail, and fully fund our police and court system. On the Johns Creek City Council, I worked to establish the police and fire departments for the new city. As our state senator, I will continue those efforts with legislation ensuring our police are fully funded so our Fulton families can live in safe neighborhoods.
Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?
As a Fulton County commissioner, I have a proven record of working with anyone and everyone to find solutions to our challenges, and delivering policies that work for all in our community. I have built many strong diverse relationships over the years to foster positive outcomes for the people we serve.
Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?
The late Commissioner Bob Fulton served as a mentor for me. His wisdom and measured, thoughtful approach to issues taught me that it is so important to gather as much information as possible in the decision making process, and to make those decisions respectfully. I miss his wise counsel.
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?
Our state is the number one place to conduct business for a reason: we have pro-business policies that help everyone thrive. Just like we have fostered a pro-business environment, we need to foster an environment that lifts barriers for homebuilders who are looking to build in our communities.
Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?
Having served in the minority on the Fulton County Commission, I have a record of building bridges to accomplish important goals. Establishing the Fulton TSPLOST program is a good example of getting consensus from a diverse group of cities to solve a problem shared by all. At the end of the day, passing good policies that work for everyone is key to keeping Georgia’s economy thriving.
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?
Providing fair, secure, accessible and transparent elections that the voters can have confidence in is paramount. The courts have consistently upheld the election results.
Proper training of election workers and continued oversight is key to restoring voter confidence going forward.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion. If elected, how will you use your authority in the state Senate to influence abortion access or enforcement of abortion restrictions?
I believe that we need to have a robust debate on this topic to ensure that this is rare, safe and accessible to those who need it.
Are there any programs/legislation you’ve sponsored or created to help people with disabilities?
I’ve worked closely to expand Senior Services such as meals on wheels and transportation options such as ride sharing services, developmental disability youth programs, after school programs, day care programs, and work force training programs among others.
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?
Families across Georgia are tightening their budgets and buckling down on spending in this period of record inflation – so should our state government. I believe that surplus funds should go back into the pockets of taxpayers.
The Legislature often votes along party lines. When would you seek bipartisan action and what issues merit such consensus?
We need collective, bipartisan collaboration to effectively take on crime in our neighborhoods. Now more than ever, our families lives are at risk and we need to ensure that local law enforcement has the training, tools, and equipment needed to successfully fight crime in our communities.