Several Cobb legislators face challenges
by Hilary Butschek
May 20, 2014 04:00 AM | 2978 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Six of the 21 seats in Cobb’s legislative delegation are up for election in today’s primary.

The success of the candidates all depends on voter turnout in a primary being held earlier than usual. Previously, Georgia conducted its primary in July.

Sue Everhart of east Cobb, a former chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, believes the date change will bring disappointment this season.

“I think it will be the lowest voter turnout we’ve had in modern times,” Everhart said.

Because there has been a lack of advertising, Everhart said, no one should depend on high wait times at the voting booths.

Everhart predicted the combination of the vote being held two months early and overall frustration with politicians will bring a low voter turnout today.

“People are just nonchalant in these races,” Everhart said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. America is just mad with politicians, and they’re really showing it in this election.”

Despite the gloomy predictions, candidates were working hard to campaign last night.

Gregory vs. Reeves

State Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw) is being challenged by Marietta attorney Bert Reeves for a chance to represent the 30,662 active registered voters in District 34.

Reeves said, “As of right now, 6 o’clock on a Monday night, and we’re still campaigning.”

He said his campaign supporters have knocked on 6,000 doors and made almost 10,000 phone calls.

Reeves has criticized Gregory during his campaign for being what he called an “absent leader.”

Yet Gregory said he has run a clean campaign of which he is proud.

“I think there are a lot of passionate people about individual liberty and limited government,” Gregory said. “There are a lot of people who are tired of dirty government.”

The battle between the two has been close. So close Everhart said it was too close to call.

“The supporters of Gregory don’t have a lot of money, but they do go out door to door,” she said. “But, I think the opponent has worked really hard.”

While Gregory supports guns being allowed on college campuses, Reeves is undecided. But Reeves said in a previous Marietta Daily Journal article he “would never support legislation that infringes on the rights of our citizens.”

The two disagree sharply on plans for the Braves to make a new home in Cobb County. Their opinions clashed at a forum earlier this month.

Gregory called the plan for a $672 million stadium “theft” of public money, but Reeves said the plan could be a good business endeavor for the county.

In preparation for the primary, Gregory said he was feeling “good, but never take anything for granted.”

Wilkerson vs. Taylor

State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) is being challenged by Connie Taylor of Powder Springs to represent the 29,967 active registered voters in District 38.

Wilkerson, a former chairman of the Cobb Democratic Party, is running on a campaign to continue his presence in the community with town hall meetings to hear the concerns of locals. He hopes to emphasize public school funding if re-elected.

Taylor wants to take up the issues of growing job opportunities and small business. She also wants to emphasize public safety.

Parsons vs. Fellows

Incumbent Don Parsons (R-north central Cobb) is being challenged by Steven Fellows, a Republican from Kennesaw in District 44, which has 32,815 active registered voters.

Fellows promises to get all of his goals accomplished in four terms. His goals include implementing a fair tax system and allocating more money towards improving transportation.

Parsons said he voted for the campus carry legislation, which would allow guns on college campuses.

Fellows said he supports campus carry laws and would like to make it easier for people to buy guns by eliminating fingerprinting and cataloging gun carriers.

Fellows said he would never vote for a tax increase if elected, and both candidates think the tax system should be reformed.

Delancy, Thomas, Wright

Three candidates are vying for the seat to replace state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell), who is running for state school superintendent. District 39

has 25,949 active registered voters.

The three Democrats are Monica Delancy from Austell, Erica Thomas from south Cobb and Branson Wright from Mableton.

Delancy aims to decrease crime in the area by meeting with local businesses to listen to their concerns.

Thomas says she hopes to be a representative of the people of south Cobb and make sure its interests are heard at the state level.

Wright also hopes to represent his hometown of Austell, Mableton and south Cobb. He said he thinks his experience working within the community will help him accomplish his campaign goals of creating jobs and strengthening education initiatives.

Delancy said she is undecided on the campus carry issue, but Thomas said she is opposed to allowing guns on college campuses. Wright has not voiced an opinion on campus carry.

Thompson vs. Rhett

State Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) is being challenged by Democrat Michael Rhett of Marietta to represent the 86,673 active registered voters in District 33.

Thompson is running on his achievements of pioneering the HOPE Scholarship and voting to increase funding for transportation. Thompson hopes to continue working on these issues and argues it is important to give money to students based on need.

Rhett has been active in the community through the Cobb County Transportation SPLOST Oversight Committee and the Georgia Democratic Party. He was also a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is running on a campaign of leadership in the community he thinks will make him a good representative.

Tate vs. Crossley

Incumbent Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta) is being challenged by Reginald Crossley, a Democrat from Atlanta, for the District 38 State Senate seat, with 29,967 active registered voters in Cobb County.

Crossley plans to focus on strengthening education and job availability while preserving the environment.

Tate prides herself on her achievements so far by keeping money in education and providing more money to health care.

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