As a result of the last Census, Georgia's House of Representatives has a new seat located in Gwinnett County. District 105 is an open seat, to be voted on for the first time this election cycle. There are two Republicans and two Democrats vying for the position. The winner in the July 31 Republic Primary out of , of Grayson, and of Lawrenceville, will face the winner in the Democratic Primary between and Rashid Malik, both of Lawrenceville.
The following is a brief bio and response to questions from each of the candidates. Malik’s response has not yet been received, but will be added as soon as it is. There is also a poll that follows, asking which of the candidates you believe deserves your vote.
The following questions were posed to each candidate.
1. What are your professional qualifications for the office you seek?
2. What is the biggest problem facing your potential constituents in this area and how do you think you can best address it if elected?
3. Each of you have one primary opponent, what makes you better qualified than him or her to move on to the General Election in November?
4. What made you decide to seek this office?
5. Give a brief wrap up on why you think the voters should elect you for the job?
Republican Primary Candidates
Damon Ladd-Thomas, 41, Grayson
Occupation: Business Owner/Investment
1. I am a Business Owner, Financial Advisor, Small Business Consultant and Advocate in this district. My degree is in Economics and I live here, work here, coach here, and founded the local Georgia Commerce Club to help support local businesses.
2. We have a residential and commercial real estate problem in this district that is hampering economic growth, the look of our communities, and revenue for our county and state. This is negatively affecting local job creation, economic growth, and the budgets for our schools. Our solution is to initially reduce inhibiting legislation and bureaucratic red tape for any ideas that can positively impact our communities.
3. We have been on the ground from Loganville, through Grayson, to Lawrenceville and beyond helping businesses and residents looking for support and solutions. I have a youthful, can-do positive attitude and I am ready to be the voice of this district for many years to come. I have a 10-year plan on legislation that will positively impact the new House District 105.
4. I was called upon by my peers, neighbors, family, local business owners and My Party to impart our common sense solutions-based approach to issues and continue our efforts in moving this area forward not only through our non-profit but through participation as a Representative in our State Government.
5. We need uniquely new ideas for our ever changing area that can compete and work congruently with, the future legislation in the State House. Government should always support and never hinder or create obstacles for its residents, investors, and businesses. In this Primary, there is no one more invested in this community, its schools, and the local economy than I. When elected, I will continue to be completely available to all of my constituents for all of their concerns and ideas to keep Gwinnett Great.
Joyce Chandler, 71, Lawrenceville
Occupation: Retired Professional School Counselor
1. I am a retired teacher and counselor with 30 years experience. For the past five years, I have served as Executive Director of a state nonprofit organization. There is much I will have to learn as a representative; but having written a dissertation, I know how to do research and consider all variables involved with an issue.
2. The biggest problem facing our community is the weak economy. If elected, I pledge to work with other representatives to develop a more business-friendly environment. This will enhance economic growth and thus bring more jobs to our area and state.
3. My experience in education and in keeping a non-profit organization alive during these difficult financial times results in my being well-prepared to serve as the representative from our district. I understand the budgeting process and the necessity for living within a budget and also know how to listen and learn from others.
4. Throughout my career, I have served others; I now seek an opportunity to be a public servant. And I do see our elected officials as just that – servants to the people who elect them. I believe that my experience will allow me to make a difference in our state legislature.
5. My faith governs my ethics and morals and my life, and I believe that Godly principles and values must be consistently demonstrated by our elected officials. I pledge to represent the people of District 105 with integrity and honesty. As a grandmother of eight, I want to do everything I can to secure a bright future for the young people of Georgia!
Democratic Primary Candidates
Renita Hamilton, 37, Lawrenceville
Occupation: Event Planner and Wedding Coordinator
1. My professional qualifications are I am knowledgeable on how to pass, amend, and repeal laws. Bachelors in Communications and Masters in Strategic Leadership degrees, nine years as a Small Business Owner, and eight years in Commercial/Residential Real Estate, Investment, and Hospitality. Level-headed, Respectable, and Decisive all qualities I possess.
2. The biggest problems facing my constituents in Georgia House District 105 are job opportunities, small business support, and education cuts. I am the best to address these needs because I have a job creation plan, small business initiative, and goal to restore education funding. Teachers need a raise.
3. My primary opponent is an intelligent and well respected, and a knowledgeable Democrat. With regard to me, I am a person that is highly qualified. I excel in leadership, embrace bipartisanship, and to elect me as State Representative November 6th is best for Georgia House District 105.
4. I decided to seek the office of State Representative for Georgia House District 105 because this great nation is one that allows ordinary citizens such as me to represent the will of the people and add an “on the ground” solutions-based voice into the legislative process.
5. I believe that the voter’s should elect me for the job because it is my job is to make sure their voices are heard and the voter’s interests are represented at Georgia State Capitol. I will serve at the will of the people. Just like the voters, I want solutions.
Rashid Malik, Lawrenceville
There is no other information from the Secretary of State’s website for Malik. However, a website when he ran for Georgia Senate District 9 in 2010 gives the following bio.
BA Political Science with minor in Economics, Truman Sate University, Masters Degree & PhD, University of Kansas, Lawrenceville resident for over 10 years, Author: Chinese Entrepreneurs in the Economic Development of China, Former Lecturer, American Intercontinental University, Founder of Malik College (educational institute), Strong advocate for education and fiscal discipline