They’re only freshmen, but Democratic state Reps. Mary Frances Williams and Erick Allen have already attracted challengers in next year’s election.
During the Cobb GOP’s annual Independence Day BBQ, former Cobb GOP Chair Rose Wing announced she would be challenging Williams.
And Republican Taryn Bowman, who tried unsuccessfully last year for the District 40 seat now held by Allen, said she would be running again for that seat.
At first blush, the odds would seem better for Wing, given that Williams only beat state Rep. Sam Teasley, R-Marietta, last year by 50.3 percent, or a mere 174 votes.
(Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd said Teasley does not intend to run in the election.)
Wing said her campaign platform includes education, jobs and addressing traffic congestion. Both Wing and Williams are Marietta natives and attended Marietta High school.
“We know each other and we’ve spoken with each other since it was in the newspaper (the rumor that Wing was running),” Wing told Around Town at the BBQ.
Their exchange took place at the swearing-in ceremony of Cobb’s new district attorney, Joyette Holmes.
“We spoke nicely to each other. We both know each other. We’re just different on the issues. And I feel that I represent the feelings of the 37th and I’m going to work hard to take the Republican Party and take that delegation back,” Wing said.
The relationship between Wing and Shepherd could be described as somewhat strained when Shepherd ran against Wing for party chair and beat her. But all would appear smoothed over. Shepherd said he’s had several conversations with Wing urging her to run for the seat.
“Rose fits the district. Her family has been in Marietta a long time. Her past as an assistant district attorney, as a prosecutor, I think she’ll do a great, great job on Judiciary Non Civil.”
(When state Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, who was chairman of the House Judiciary Non Civil Committee, retired, only to be replaced by Allen, Cobb lost that influential chairmanship.)
“At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team and we want what is best for our team, so we may disagree with a race or two and sometimes you run against each other for party office, sometimes you’re on different sides for a candidate primary and not just with the two of us, but all over, and if you can’t make up afterward you’re not going to get very far anyway because, once again, we’re all on the same team at the end of the day and we all want to get Republicans elected,” Shepherd said.
When Golick retired last year to the dismay of Republicans, it opened up the seat.
Marietta attorney Matt Bentley beat Bowman in the Republican primary with 65.8 percent of the vote, but Democrat Allen beat Bentley in the general election with 54.6 percent of the vote or 2,690 votes.
Bowman told the audience at the GOP barbecue, she was excited about running for the seat.
“I’ll protect the Second Amendment, protect life, protect the dollars in your pockets, protect our seniors, protect the senior tax exemption while also making sure that our children get the best education possible,” she said. I’m doing this because I want my mother, my husband, my daughters, my neighborhood to live without fear, to live in safety, to be proud of their community and to thrive in their community. In Cobb, we choose freedom. … With your help I’m going to do whatever it takes to win back District 40 and to keep Georgia red in 2020,” she said.