Georgia State Senate, District 9, Republicans:
Our choice for this seat is incumbent Don Balfour, 55, of Snellville. This year he drew two opponents, but his years of service give him invaluable experience to represent Gwinnett in the Senate, where he is chairman of the Rules Committee. Senator Balfour has been under the gun for some financial oversights in recent months, and has drawn fire, which he has attempted to explain. However, we feel he is the best choice to continue to represent Gwinnett in the Senate.
Georgia State Senate, District 55, Democrats:
By far, the most attractive of candidates is Gloria Butler, 70, of Stone Mountain, who is seeking
her eighth term in the Senate.
This senior citizen is still vivacious and effective in representing her district. She has a good voting record, and fights hard for her beliefs. She’s the type of person many want representing them, and we heartily endorse her re-election.
State Representative, District 81, Republican:
No endorsement. Neither candidate made an effort to show up for an interview.
State Representative, District 93, Democrats:
It’s good to see three people running for this office. We were particularly drawn to two of the candidates. This includes Dar’shun N. Kendrick, a 29-year-old attorney who is currently a legislator. The other is Glen Williams, 44, a local activist and sports academy operator. This is one of the more difficult races to call, since both Rep. Kendrick and Mr. Williams seem well qualified to represent the district. We endorse Mr. Williams, a Centerville resident, who has been active for years in that area, and since a larger portion of the district is in Gwinnett than in DeKalb.
State Representative, District 94, Democrats:
Four people run in this race. This newly-created district will be served well with the election of
Tony Lentini, 47, of Centerville, a Yellow Page employee who has lived in the district for 27 years. Mr. Lentini has run twice for a similar post before, gaining 44 percent of the vote in his last race. He is one of four Democrats vying for this seat, is well qualified and up-to-date on the issues facing this community.
State Representative, District 96, Republican:
Our choice for this seat for the primary is Mark Williams, 50, a printing house owner from Duluth (Cardinal Lake). Mr. Williams has been active within the Gwinnett community and his industry’s affairs, and is a former chairman of the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, and active in the Foster Children’s Foundation.
State Representative, District 97, Republicans:
A 20-year veteran of the Georgia House, Brooks Coleman, 72, of Duluth, is seeking re-election,
and we endorse his candidacy against a 22-year-old college graduate. Mr. Coleman has become chair of the House Education Committee, and in such a position, can help shape improvements in education. We feel inclined to say, however, that Mr. Coleman’s previous support of the statewide charter school bill was not a well-taken position nor a positive element. However, even saying that, we feel Brooks Coleman is the best choice to continue in this office.
State Representative, District 103, Republicans:
No endorsement. Neither candidate scheduled a visit.
State Representative, District 105, Republicans:
Two Republicans are seeking this post. Our choice for this primary is Damon Ladd-Thomas, 41, a Grayson businessman, who is seeking his first elective office. Mr. Ladd-Thomas brings energy, a history of activism, and a fresh outlook to this race. He should represent Gwinnett well in the legislature.
State Representative, District 105: Democrats:
No endorsement. Neither of two candidates showed up.
State Representative, District 114, Republican:
No doubt the hardest working candidate for the year 2012 is Tom Kirby, 51, of Walton County.
He ran for a vacancy for the House in February, was the victor in a runoff in March, and now faces one opponent in the July primary. He is a human resources consultant. One aspect of Mr. Kirby’s comments to us causes concern: his condemnation of the use jelly fish cells in a scientific procedure. He intends to legislate against this acceptable procedure (see his comment in “Pick one issue” in the adjacent column of answers to questions GwinnettForum put to him.) Reluctantly, we endorse his candidacy.
U.S. CONGRESS, 4th District, Democratic primary:
Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, 57, the incumbent: Mr. Johnson is seeking his fourth term in the Congress. He has voted along Democratic lines while in office, and is in line to become a Democratic member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee should the Democrats take over the next House. He is also on the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees. The Lithonia resident is a former county commissioner and magistrate judge. Two years ago, we were concerned about his health, but in 2012, he appears to be in robust health to continue to serve well.
U.S. CONGRESS, 4th District, Republican primary:
Greg Pallen, 43, a Rockdale County businessman, presents a credible candidacy. He hopes to go to Congress to cut spending to lower taxes, an admirable idea, but difficult for anyone. Mr. Pallen presents a five point plan, among which is to cut the salary of Congressmen from $174,000 to $100,000. He also says he will accept no money from special interests, and gain campaign money only from individuals. He also wants to institute a program whereby Congressmen shall have no benefit that is not available to the average citizen.
U.S. CONGRESS, 7th District, Republican primary:
Rob Woodall, 42, the first-term incumbent, who is now a resident of Peachtree Corners. As a protégé and former staffer of ex-Congressman John Linder, if there is one bone to pick with the current Congressman, it is his continual promotion of the Fair Tax Plan, a wholly-unacceptable and never-to-pass taxing scheme which is doomed by its own principles. However, Congressman Woodall has otherwise served reasonably well, and looks after constituent requests with alacrity and diligence.
U.S. CONGRESS, 10th District, Republican primary:
Stephen Simpson, 61, A retired Army officer and Milledgeville businessman, Mr. Simpson presents a fresh and bright face, running against Incumbent Rep. Paul Broun, in a greatly-reconfigured 10th District. He is experienced in the ways of Washington, after serving with distinction at the Pentagon and as a military Congressional liaison officer. His energy and grasp of the key issues facing our nation make him an attractive alternate to the current Congressman, known for his one-side approach to many issues. With no Democrat offering for office, the winner of the primary should become the next 10th District Congressman.
GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, District 3, Republican primary:
Chuck Eaton, 43, the incumbent, is our choice for this seat in the primary. Election to this position is for a six year term. Mr. Eaton has concentrated on Georgia having a favorable rate plan for electric consumers, while at the same time making sure that the plan is a reliable one. This office regulates electric, natural gas and telecommunications services. The complications of this office make it one where with good results, citizens should retain their current office-holders, such as Mr. Eaton. There are five commissioners, with only two seats under consideration this year.
GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, District 5, Republican primary:
Neither of the Republican candidates chose to visit with us. We then will make no endorsements in this race.
Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 1, Republicans:
Our choice for this seat is ten year veteran of the Suwanee City Council, Jace Brooks, 43. He is a certified financial planner and has lived in Gwinnett for 14 years. We feel Mr. Brooks is in the best position from his experience in Suwanee to help restore the trust that Gwinnett County citizens want and need on their county commission. He demonstrates a clear ability to think. We feel he will safeguard Gwinnett’s financial positioning, and has shown he can work in government to improve a community. We urge his election.
Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 3, Republicans:
Two years ago, Tommy Hunter was a candidate for the county commission in another district. Now after the lines for commission seats have changed, he is a candidate for the post again, and we endorse his candidacy. Mr. Hunter, 41, is a civil engineer from the Duncan’s Corner area near Braselton, and has at one time been an employee of the county. Two year ago, we wrote of his candidacy: “He seems to be a person who can make priorities happen, and seems to understand the complicated process of government in a sprawling county like Gwinnett.” We continue to think this, and feel that his fresh approach to politics makes him an ideal choice to change the way some of the workings of the commission is done. He is independent, straight-forward and alert in his approach, and will make a fine commissioner.
For Judge of Probate Court, Republican:
This race pits an attorney who has worked in the probate office against an attorney who often practices before this office. We endorse Marlene Duwell, 50, of Peachtree Corners for probate judge. Having worked for the current probate judge for 14 years, she will need no familiarity course for procedures or precedents. A native Georgian, originally trained as an engineer, she switched to law school and on graduation, became the Probate Judge’s first law clerk.
For Judge of Superior Court:
Five distinguished Gwinnett attorneys seek this office. The person we endorse is Tracey Mason Blasi, 50, a Lawrenceville attorney and mediator. Ms. Blasi has a sparkling arena of service in Gwinnett, and comes from a pioneer Gwinnett family. Her background shows her working with people to bring resolution and harmony to a dispute. She has the training, temperament and integrity to be a steadying influence on the bench, and to sort out legal distinctions. We commend her candidacy to the voters.
For Judge of the State Court:
“We endorse Norman Cuadra, 45, of Suwanee, who is an exemplary candidate who we feel will serve with distinction, for which we endorse his candidacy. This will also place a minority on the Gwinnett judicial bench, something fitting in the most diverse county in the nation. Mr. Caudra’s life is a storybook one of coming to this country from Mexico, born to Nicaraguan parents. He grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and moved to Georgia in 1995 to practice law. He has a family, criminal defense and personal injury practice and is the judge of the City of Doraville court.”
Click on the link to read Norman’s answers.
Thank you Elliott Brack for sharing your endorsements with Team Bold Spicy.