Who Deserves Your Vote for District 105 in Georgia's House of Representatives?

Two Republicans and two Democrats qualified for the July 31 primaries for the District 105 open seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. The winner in each party will face off in the November General Election.

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

Website: www.vote4damon.com

E-Mail: damon@vote4damon.com

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

Email:    jhchandler@bellsouth.net

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

Website:   www.voterenitahamilton.org

Email:    renita@voterenitahamilton.org

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

Email: DrMalikForSenate@yahoo.com

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

Bobby Thomas June 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Damon would be a great State Rep, because of his commitment, and his vision for the future.
Tatyana Ladd-Thomas June 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Damon has passion, energy, resources, experience and, most important, community behind him. He is "all in" guy, who is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and work hard for You - Gwinnett Resident.
Mark Bove June 14, 2012 at 03:18 PM
No one I know has more community spirit than Damon. His commitment to business growth and family values qualifies Damon to represent district 105 under the gold dome. Damon's community wired and listens to the concerns of residents and business owners. He understands the unique issues people are concerned about in this economic environment and as a business owner, knows how difficult it can be promoting a business in these tough times. Because he's not a career politician, he values our needs and not those of others with an agenda that doesn't support the community. Let's send honesty and integrity back to the state capital by voting for Damon Ladd-Thomas.
Bradford Zimmerman June 20, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I have known, worked with and worshiped with Joyce Chandler for several years now and I can assure you, you will never meet a more committed and more dedicated servant to her community. She has both the experience and education to make an excellant State Representative and a passion to bring morals and ethics back into State politics. I urge everyone to get to know Joyce, her qualifications and her positions on issues that affect all of us. She will be a breath of fresh air to the State House and represent us well. Sincerely, Brad Zimmerman
Sharyn Berg June 21, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Joyce Chandler has the best interests of the people in District 105 at heart. She has proven this by her commitment to helping educate our children through the free tutoring at Anchor Church that she started and leads and through her positive involvement in the lives of many around her. She is intelligent, focused, dedicated and a tireless worker and would make a great House Representative with strong ethics and values guiding every decision she makes!
Chandler McCrary Ray June 25, 2012 at 11:55 PM
My name is Chandler Ray, and I am the grandson of Joyce Chandler. Joyce is the most qualified, most experienced, and best candidate running for the state house. My grandmother is a loving person and was an excellent counselor for many many years. If there is one thing I know for a fact, she is the most honest and compassionate person I know on Earth, and is the one person that I know for sure is the best Republican and overall candidate for this position. Vote for Joyce!
Bradford Zimmerman June 26, 2012 at 01:44 PM
As most folks know, name recognition is an important factor when running for office. One of the ways both Republican candidates are using to accomplish this is placing yard signs in front of the homes of supporters and in public areas with high traffic. Over the past several weeks, an alarming practice has come to light. Someone, presubably with the Damon-Ladd Thomas campaign, has been removing Joyce Chandler's yard signs almost as fast as they go up. This petty action does not speak well for the character of those envolved. I assure you that no one in the Chandler organization has stooped to this level of activity. I am hoping that the Damon-Ladd Thomas organization will make every effort to stop this activity and show us the same respect we give them in this contest. Respectfully, Brad Zimmerman
Damon Ladd-Thomas June 26, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Bradford Zimmerman, If this is an example of the respect you are showing to me as a candidate by false accusations and assumptions about the emotional maturity of our camp, I would hate to see what would happen if you did not respect me or our team. Joyce and I are on the same side, just two different candidates that want the same thing. We have no interest in playing silly sign wars and will not whine about it even when falsely accused. I can assure you that we have lost more yard signs than Joyce and we are certain that no one in her camp would stoop any level of unethical campaign tactics or sign removal intimidation because we truly do respect Joyce, her family, her campaign, the Republican Party and as always her signs that are displayed in the district we both chose to work hard for,everyday. TRULY, Respectfully, Damon Ladd-Thomas and The Committee to Elect Damon Ladd-Thomas.
Sharon Swanepoel June 26, 2012 at 04:53 PM
These accusations surface with every campaign and, in most of the instances, the guilty culprit is the Georgia Department of Transportation. Here is a story I ran just last week after receiving a press release from GDOT on this very issue. http://patch.com/A-vztw
Damon Ladd-Thomas June 26, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Thanks Sharon for Cool Clarity. We could also go with the "Printing Company Conspiracy Theory". Since they get to re-print more signs.....except our local printers, they are awesome. ;0)
Denise Peterson June 27, 2012 at 02:36 PM
All signs aside... Let's face the reality of this election. Anyone voting Republican needs to look at how many votes Renita is getting. When choosing your Republican candidate you need to think to the future, think past this one term. The reality is the democratic vote in this house district is right on our tail. If we want this newly created district to remain Republican after one term I encourage you to research who will get down to the dome and get their hands dirty working for the betterment of our area. Who is going to join committees that directly affect the economic growth of 105 and the small businesses? Who understands that to see our economy grow we must support local businesses? With all due respect to Mrs. Chandler I have not seen any sort of business side of her. I’ve seen a charming, respectful, loving natured person but I’ve not seen how she will work to keep the businesses in our area thriving. I have seen Mr. Ladd Thomas firsthand for years working in the trenches to make sure local businesses not only grow but thrive. I’ve seen his fiscal responsibility help turn around what seems to be dead end companies with no chance to live become successful. I hope you too will vote for Mr. Ladd Thomas as I am certain he is the one that will go to the dome and keep this district Republican for years to come.
Bradford Zimmerman June 27, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Sharon, Thanks for sharing this information. I was not aware of this DOT policy and this is probably the reason signs from both camps are mysteriously dissappearing. Had I known this I would not have made the inappropriate assumption that someone from Mr. Ladd-Thmas's camp was behind the removal. Damon, Please accept my apology. I was obviously very frustrated by the number of signs I had personally placed only to have them removed, sometimes the very next day. My comments were strictly my own. Mrs. Chandler has made no mention of this issue. I hope we can put this whole issue to bed. I wish you luck in your election efforts. We all want what's best for our district. Sincerely, Brad Zimmerman.
Damon Ladd-Thomas June 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Thank You Bradford. No worries. We obviously know the cost of time and volunteer resources disappearing signs can be. See you out on the campaign trail. -Damon
Mark Bove June 29, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Chandler...I admire how dedicated you are to the support of your grandmothers campaign. I'm sure she is a wonderfully honest and trusting individual and you must be proud of her. However I was quite concerned about the comment you made that stated, "We are not thinking about the future." Why would a person make the effort to campaign for a political office and not be concerned with the future? As a nation, we've been challenged with many unfortunate circumstances and on a local level, Gwinnett County continues to be one of the most damaged counties in the nation for housing foreclosures. We need a candidate that can offer us more than just the comforting, compassionate approach of a loving grandmother. We need a candidate who has proven, successful business experience. A candidate who is actively involved in community affairs with a focus on future economic growth. A candidate who understands the needs of today's young families. Damon Ladd-Thomas possesses all those skills. As a business owner and resident in the district, Damon understands the needs of struggling business owners and families. With Damon's efforts, he has helped countless businesses achieve success. He understands the educational challenges of today's brand of government schools and he has an energy that is required to meet the needs of an elected official under the gold dome. Given the facts it's quite clear that Damon is the right choice to support the businesses and residents of district 105.
Richard Nawyn July 13, 2012 at 09:53 PM
My vote is for Joyce Chandler! Beyond the charm is a very hard working woman!!!
Mark Bove July 31, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Chandler, I expected a more mature reply from you. Your reply was very childish and had a tone I'd expect from a liberal. Without an eye on the future you have nothing by which to base a political platform. Entering office with no plan will provide the residents and businesses in district 105 with nothing but a regressive future. We need someone with leadership qualities who can navigate this county into an era of significant economic growth. Residents and businesses that I've spoken with want a young, fresh approach to the representation in this district. They want a candidate with energy, vigor & vitality. Someone who won't get eaten up alive as a freshman under the gold dome. My candidate possesses those qualities. He's organized, focused, very energetic, has a solid plan and is a true constitutional republican. I'm not sure I would want this kind of pressure and stress placed upon my grandmother. At a certain time in ones existence, it becomes a quality of life benefit to retire from work and enjoy the family, spoil the grand kids, offer up time to the church and visit places that may be on the bucket list. I don't know what the final result will be from the election tomorrow but I do know that I am voting for the candidate who I am convinced will best represent us with an energetic, fresh, and knowledgable approach to the current day needs of the residents and businesses in district 105. I am voting for DAMON LADD-THOMAS.
Mark Bove August 01, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Chandler...I congratulate Joyce on her win! Now on to the general election where she'll face a strong liberal opponent. If she wins the general election I will be one of the voters in district 105 who will hold Joyce's feet to the fire and expect to be represented in the capitol based on fundamental principles of economics driven by a plan that ignites growth. A warm smile and a basket of cookies isn't enough to get the job done. As for you, Chandler, perhaps between now and the general election, someone in your family can teach you something about humility. If your behavior is consistent with the rest of the people on Joyce's team then she'll have a tough time winning in November. I am a voter, don't forget that!


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