In the May 22 primary, Holland defeated Dan Berschinski and Bob Gibeling with 60.7 percent of the vote, and Beskin was unopposed.

Beskin, a lawyer who was first elected to the seat in 2014, is seeking her third term. She said she’s running for reelection to continue the work she’s done to “improve educational outcomes for all Georgia’s public school children (through my work on the House Education Committee),” among other things.

“I’m (also) running … to (make) sure Atlanta is a desirable place to live in the metro Atlanta region by strenuously advocating for property tax relief for Atlanta homeowners (passed the city of Atlanta 2.6 percent tax cap bill this year, which is on the ballot in November), supporting improved transportation and transit (voted for HB 170 in 2015, SB 369 in 2016), advocating against the restriping of Peachtree Road for bike lanes, advocating that Emory must come into (Atlanta Public Schools) when it was annexed into the city of Atlanta Jan. 1 (critical for the viability of APS) and by ensuring that the state … continues to have a competitive business climate.”

Beskin said she’s the best candidate because as a state representative, she’s looked out for all residents, not just those who voted for her and voted against the campus carry bill and all bills related to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“I have earned a reputation for working across the aisle and being an independent thinker,” she said. “However, I believe it benefits our district to be represented by a Republican. The Republicans hold large majorities in both the House and the Senate.

“It was only by working as a team with my Republican colleagues and leadership in both the House and Senate this past session that I was able to bring HB 820, the 2.6 percent Atlanta Tax Cap bill as a state-wide bill when it was opposed by the Democratically controlled Atlanta delegation. As the only Republican member of the 236-member General Assembly who lives within the city of Atlanta, I have been able to advocate effectively for issues that affect each of us as Atlanta citizens.”

Holland, who works as the director of culture and engagement for Turner, said she’s seeking the District 54 seat because she’s “frustrated by the lack of balance in the Georgia Legislature.”

“When damaging bills like religious freedom referendums or “guns everywhere” laws come to the floor for a vote, it impacts Georgia’s reputation as a top state for business,” she said. “Companies and young talent don’t want to put down roots in a state where divisive and discriminatory policy will limit growth. It’s time to bring balance to the Georgia House so that legislators can work together to come up with viable solutions to the problems facing Georgians, including improving access to healthcare, strengthening our public schools, reducing traffic, and boosting economic development.”

Holland has more than 20 years of experience as a volunteer, serving on the boards of Communities in Schools, the Atlanta Community ToolBank, ToolBank USA and Fugees Family, chairing two of those boards and a chamber committee. She also is involved with Garden Hills Elementary School and Morningside Presbyterian Church. Previously, she served on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's board of governors.

When asked what makes her stand out as a candidate, Holland said, “My business experience combined with my engagement with policy and nonprofit groups uniquely qualifies me to represent our district.”

“I have firsthand experience working with Georgians across the state who are impacted by the laws passed by the Georgia General Assembly,” she added. “I can bring a balanced perspective that encourages economic growth and job creation while also serving the needs of working Georgia families.”

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