The general election will be held Nov. 6. These contested local races will appear on ballots in Sandy Springs.

U.S. House of Representatives

Fifth District

Rep. John Lewis
John Lewis

John Lewis (D) (I)

Occupation:  U.S. Representative Fifth Congressional District of Georgia

City or neighborhood of residence:  Atlanta

Experience in elective office:  Member, Atlanta City Council

Other community experience or activities: Chairman, SNCC; last living Speaker from the 1963 March on Washington

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

I am honored that the people of the Fifth Congressional District of Georgia have allowed me to serve and represent them in Congress since 1986. They have been more than good to me and I’ve tried to be good to them. I am proud of my record on the issues affecting the lives of the people in the Fifth Congressional District of Georgia.

Those of us who came through the early days of the movement were grounded in our faith, grounded in our belief that somehow and some way we would have a victory, that we would overcome, that we would be able to redeem society and create what Dr. King called the Beloved Community. A world at peace with itself that values the dignity and worth of every human being. This is our mission, this is our calling. I want to go back to Congress to continue working to create the Beloved Community.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in the new Congress?

As a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the ranking member of the Ways and Means Oversight Committee, I will continue to fight to make sure that safety, education, and healthcare are not compromised while making sure that we have the resources to protect the vital programs which help give our fellow Americans a chance to succeed.

Howard Stopeck

Howard Stopeck (R)

Occupation: retired attorney

Residence: Atlanta, Virginia Highland area

Experience in elective office: none

Other community service: president of the Hyam Solomon also editor of Metropolitan Chicago B’nai Brith

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

I’ll save the economy and care for the poor more than just keep them alive. I designed the transparent tax, an equitable, efficient, simple revenue neutral tax reform, that everybody will be able to clearly understand and that will give the middle class a 30 percent lifetime tax reduction, increase corporate taxes double, increase corporate profits and give every corporation a $1 million tax exemption. I shift the tax burden from households to corporations, eliminate all tax exemption loopholes, with no exception, and save the economy. It’s the best thing since sliced bread.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in the new Congress?

Easy. How do you lift the poor from the dust? How do you care for them more than keeping them alive? This tax will put more money in people’s pockets. Then I would propose legislation to reinstitute the draft – mandatory, no exemptions. If women had young children, they would be provided child care. No deferments for school. No deferments for anything. Everybody does it. People need to serve. It would be non-combat. And they would be working on our infrastructure, things we need done.

Sixth District

Rep. Tom Price
Rep. Tom Price

Tom Price (R) (I)

Occupation: Orthopedic Surgeon

Residence: Roswell

Experience in elective office:  was first elected to represent Georgia’s 6th district in November 2004. Prior to going to Washington, he served four terms in the Georgia Senate – two as Minority Whip.  In 2002, he was a leader in the Republican renaissance in Georgia as the party took control of the state Senate, with Price rising to become the first Republican Senate Majority Leader in the history of Georgia.

Other community experience or activities: Roswell Rotary Club

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

We face a real choice in this election between whether or not we continue down the current path which will lead to higher debt, higher taxes, and weak economic growth. Or do we change direction, and put in place pro-growth policies: a budget that puts us on a path to paying off our debt, lower taxes on families and small businesses, and fewer onerous regulations from Washington. Those are the policies I have and will continue to champion to get America back on the right track.”

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in Congress?

Our nation faces tremendous challenges. First and foremost is a still-struggling economy brought on by the threat of higher taxes and irresponsible regulation from Washington. My primary focus is on stopping the tax hikes, eliminating the threat of a looming fiscal cliff, and then getting Washington out of the way of small businesses so they can grow and create jobs.”

Jeff Kazanow

Jeff Kazanow (D)

Occupation: Consultant to Retailers and Manufacturers in Logistics Operations and Technology

Residence: East Cobb

Experience in elective office:  None

Other community experience or activities: Wheaton school board, Princeton Mill Home Owners Association

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

I am a moderate Democrat that seeks to return balance and dialog to a dysfunctional, highly divisive Congress.  In my business life,  I work with all kinds of people and strive to bring consensus.  I will do the same in Congress.  I will work to get the people’s business done.  Compromise is not a dirty word; there is an acceptable middle ground. I will seek to build bridges between the parties and lead the moderates back to doing the work you elected us to perform.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in Congress?

I will focus on activities to rebuild our decaying infrastructure and put America back to work. This will put Americans back to work and ultimately balance the budget. We have lost our focus on America’s greatness.  We are falling behind the rest of the industrial nations in our infrastructure, education, health care, and prosperity.  I will work with Democrats and Republicans to maintain and build our world standing.  Not only can we maintain our economic dominance, but we can expand it even further and I will work to make sure that our economy continues to grow.

Eleventh District

Phil Gingrey

Phil Gingrey (R) (I)

Occupation: OB/GYN physician

Residence: Marietta

Experience in elective office: Former Marietta City School Board chairman, Georgia state Senator, U.S. Congressman.

Other community experience or activities:  Cobb County Medical Society member; Good Samaritan health clinic volunteer; involved with March of Dimes; member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

 Why should the voters choose you?

I understand and will continue to advance the conservative principles held by the citizens of the 11th District. I have consistently worked for and voted to drastically reduce federal spending, eliminate job-killing regulations, and enact pro-growth tax reform. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and co-chairman of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, I have been at the forefront of the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare. The federal government takeover of one-sixth our economy raises taxes on small business owners and middle class families, guts Medicare of $716 billion, and will irreparably harm the doctor-patient relationship. I support a package of state-based reforms that give patients more control of their insurance policies while increasing access and ensuring a high standard of care.

 If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in the next Congress?

Job creation, strengthening our economy, and reining in federal spending are my highest priorities. In order to achieve those goals, I will continue working to repeal Obamacare, cap federal spending at no more than 18 percent of GDP, and enact a federal balanced budget amendment. I also stand ready to block the impending tax hike, which would cost our economy 700,000 jobs and do away with onerous regulations that hinder the ability of our nation’s job creators — small businesses — to expand their payrolls and add employees. Accordingly, I will continue urging my Senate colleagues to act on the more-than 40 House-passed jobs bills which reduce bureaucratic red tape, lower taxes on small business owners, and increase entrepreneur’s access to capital.

Patrick Thompson
Patrick Thompson

Patrick Thompson (D)

Occupation: business manager in Hi-Tech, small business entrepreneur

Residence: Woodstock

Experience in elective office: none

Other community experience or activities: Boy Scout Scoutmaster, University Parent Board, Armed Forces Communications & Electronics, youth sports coach, Must Ministries, St Vincent de Paul, USGBC, CSCMP, Tech Assoc of GA, GA Water Coalition, GA Solar, Sierra Club, Riverkeepers, Alliance for Clean Energy, Blue Green Alliance. 

Why should the voters choose you?

My career has been about growing businesses and expanding opportunities for others, built on cooperation and creativity; necessary if we are to return our economy to dignity and prosperity. I accept no lobby money or gifts. True public servant wanting to give people a voice in their government and get things done. End outsourcing, offshoring capital, war, corporate welfare, fossil fuel subsidies. Invest in education, smartgrid, communications spectrum, energy efficiency, natural resource planning. Support small business, “fair” markets, Glass Steagall. 

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in Congress?

Jobs. Pass Veterans Job Corps Act, American Jobs Act, Farm Bill, defend/improve the Affordable Care Act (joining the rest of the world’s industrialized nations in lifting the threat of being one sickness away from financial disaster or losing their home). Grow jobs with more preventative care, personal physicians, more geography. End the practice of caps, denial for pre-existing conditions, inefficient healthcare systems. Farming support is about jobs, energy, conservation, trade, security. Free up capital for small business. Strengthen neighborhoods.

Georgia Public Service Commission

Chuck Eaton
Chuck Eaton

Chuck Eaton (R) (I)

Occupation: Public Service Commissioner

Residence: Atlanta

Experience in elective office: Elected to the PSC in 2006

Other community experience or activities: Chuck represented his neighborhood on a citizen group that made recommendations on local zoning, land use, public safety and community issues. In Troup County he served on the Board of Directors for Troup Haven House, a children’s shelter.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

I worked for the repeal of the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing, which Gov. Nathan Deal said helped bring new jobs to Georgia from Caterpillar and Baxter. As federal mandates by the Obama Administration drive up energy costs, I’ve worked to keep utility rates in Georgia among the lowest and led the PSC’s effort to lower electric rates by 6 percent. I have voted for a diverse mix of energy sources in the state’s energy portfolio, including solar energy projects, but will not allow liberal special interests to force subsidies for any energy source that is not price competitive.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address on the Public Service Commission?

On Nov. 7, 2012, I hope to address Mitt Romney as President Romney, so that Georgia has a partner at the federal level that will work for lower energy costs rather than working to drive up the cost of energy as the current administration is doing. On the Public Service Commission, I am preparing for the next round of cost hearings on Plant Vogtle’s new nuclear reactors to ensure that costs are kept in line. We will continue looking for ways to save Georgia families money on their monthly utility bills and lower rates to attract new jobs to Georgia.

Steve Oppenheimer
Steve Oppenheimer

Stephen Oppenheimer (D)

Occupation: Retired dentist

Residence: Sandy Springs

Experience in elective office: None.

Other community experience or activitiesFor 30 years I have been involved in leadership in Atlanta, my children’s elementary, middle and high schools, organizations for college students, where I worship & on 2 national boards. My engagement in energy began 8 years ago with the bi-partisan Institute for Analysis of Global Security. I was on the committee to plan a National Energy Security Conference.  I am a Task Force Coordinator for Clean Cities-Atlanta, a Department of Energy program & served on the City of Atlanta’s Metro Atlanta Electric Vehicle Task Force.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

 My academic background in science provides a foundation for me to understand energy. For over 20 years I operated a small business- my family dental practice. I understand the responsibilities and challenges faced by small business owners and homeowners. For eight years I have worked with bi-partisan groups led by experts on energy and energy security policy nationally and locally, which provide me a background on energy policy.  For 30 years I have held leadership roles in Atlanta and national organizations including building a student center at for Emory students that was completed on schedule and on budget.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address at the Public Service Commission? 

The Public Service Commission is to use its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced utility service.  Commissioners should proactively seek best practices around the country and the world to make certain our utilities remain affordable and help Georgia’s economy.  I’ll fight to make sure more of our power is produced right here in Georgia from diversified sources including natural gas, bio-fuels, solar and even wind of the coast. I will promote modern energy generation & management technologies including energy efficiency and smart grid technology.  Great energy expertise exists in Georgia, let’s leverage that!

Brad Ploeger
Brad Ploeger

Brad Ploeger (L)

Occupation:  small business owner

Residence: Grant Park, Atlanta

Experience in elective office: none

Other community experience or activities: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta; board of a housing facility for lower income seniors in Midtown Atlanta.

 Why should the voters choose you for this position?

As a homeowner, advocate for affordable housing and small business owner I have seen firsthand how the decisions of the PSC affect ratepayers in Georgia.  When I looked at the PSC it became apparent quite quickly that the Commission has abandoned its job of protecting Georgia ratepayers.  I am running for Public Service Commission to shed light on the Commission and to raise public awareness for their activities.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address on the Public Service Commission?

My primary goal is to return the commission to its primary goal of protecting ratepayers in Georgia.  First and foremost I will work with both my fellow commissioners and the General Assembly to adopt meaningful ethics reform. These reforms include prohibiting contributions from interested parties, an outright ban on lobbyist gifts and full financial transparency.

Georgia Senate

Sixth District

Doug Stoner
Doug Stoner

Doug Stoner (D) (I)

Occupation: Director of Business Development at Croy Engineering

Residence: Smyrna

Experience in elective office: Georgia House of Representatives 2002-2004; Georgia State Senate 2004-present

Other community experience or activities: Board of Directors, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce ; Smyrna Kiwanis; King Springs School PTA; Smyrna Downtown Development Authority, 1991-Present; Cobb County Transit Board Member, 1995-2002; Chairman, Cobb County Transit Board: 1999-2002.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

I continue to provide a moderate and rationale voice in the Georgia State Senate. My pledge to constituents is to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to create an educated workforce, a strong transportation infrastructure, and a pro-growth environment in which Georgia businesses and Georgia citizens thrive.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in the state Senate?

The single most important issue facing Georgians is a stagnant economy and limited jobs creation.  While many of my fellow legislators will allow themselves to become distracted with social issues and national rhetoric, I will continue to advocate for policies that benefit our growing industries, increase educational opportunities, and build the infrastructure Georgia needs to remain competitive in the 21st century.

Hunter Hill
Hunter Hill

Hunter Hill (R)

Occupation: New Business Development, SecurAmerica

Residence: Smyrna

Experience in elective office: None

Other community experience or activities: Smyrna Veterans Committee, U.S. Army, serving three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 Why should the voters choose you for this position?

As a West Point graduate, Airborne Ranger, and combat leader of 5 teams in 3 different combat tours, I understand leadership and service. Through my real estate and security industry experience, I know what businesses need to grow, and I know the ways that government can affect business in a positive and a negative way. I know how to solve complex problems, and I know how to lead a diverse group of people toward a common goal. I believe Georgia taxpayers deserve elected leaders who will stand up for the values in which they believe, make the tough decisions to limit government’s influence in their lives, and work with other leaders to solve our challenges.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in the General Assembly?

I will work to make Georgia more economically competitive by addressing reforms to the state’s tax code, reducing burdensome regulation, and supporting efforts to align education with business’ workforce demands.
56th District

John Albers
John Albers

John Albers (R) (I)

Occupation:  Senator, Business Executive, Firefighter

Residence:  Roswell

Experience in elective office: 2 years, Georgia Senator

Other community experience or activities: World Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Roswell United Methodist Church Job Networking Industry Guide, Alpharetta Public Safety Foundation Board of Directors (past chairman), Hope & Light Foundation Board of Directors, Republican Party Member (National, Georgia, Fulton & Cherokee), Heritage Foundation Presidents Club, Scout Leader, EnAble of GA Board of Directors, Sigma Phi Epsilon KY Beta Alumni Board, National Rifle Association, Georgia Carry, Roswell Area Park (youth sports coach), Roswell Historical Society, Friends of Bullock Hall, Kiwanis and Roswell Rotary.

Senator Albers is a fourth generation firefighter serving as a volunteer in Alpharetta and member of the Georgia Firefighters Association. In 2011, Senator Albers was named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia State Firefighters Association and the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs.

Why should the voters choose you for this position? 

I am a servant-leader dedicated to our protecting liberty and freedom, following our constitution and limited government.   I am conservative and championed many important causes and legislation.  I authored and co-sponsored important legislation including mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients, improved Veterans benefits, balanced budget, tax cuts, reduced regulations, etc.  I championed the removal of the Ga. 400 toll, which will be coming down in December 2013.  I will continue to work tirelessly and be an active part of my community to make Georgia the greatest state to live, work and play.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in the new Legislature?

I have a series of legislative efforts already in process, including: reduction and eventual elimination of the Georgia income tax; lowering the unemployment rate; repeal of the T-SPLOST; transformation of our traffic and transportation systems; technology in the classroom; reducing burdensome regulations.

Akhtar Sadiq
Akhtar Sadiq

Akhtar Sadiq (D)

Occupation: Business Consultant

Residence:   Alpharetta

Experience in elective office: None

Other community experience or activities: served as Treasurer of the United States Navy League, now on the Board as a director; honored by Georgia Secretary of State as outstanding Georgia citizen and outstanding community leader in 2006; ambassador for Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Why should voters choose you for this position?

As your state Senator, I will focus on those elements that have made the 56th District one of the most attractive and economically vibrant regions not only in Georgia but across all of America.

I will work to: maintain the powers of local governments and school boards against state encroachment; generate job growth through cooperation with the federal government; and not hold north Atlantans, as well as all Georgians, hostage in partisan politics. I understand the economy, because I have a very diversified experience having worked for several multi-national industries at senior management level and for Big Four CPA firms.

If you are elected, what is the first thing you hope to address in Senate?

This is a difficult question because the needs of our district and state are so many and great.  I can talk about transportation and ethics, two vital issues.  And there is public safety and the need for real– not special-interest– tax reform. But the highest priority is to return respect and support for public education and our teachers.

Thanks to our educators the public schools in District 56 are the finest in the state and among the finest in the country. But this Republican-controlled Senate has put our educational system under assault.  We now are shifting state dollars to private schools– even when many of the educational theories championed by these institutions have been shown to fall short. There is a place for charter, private and parochial schools in our society.  But let me make this clear.  Public education is the duty of public officials.  I will fight any retreat.  I will stand by our local school boards, our teachers, our parents, and, above all, our students.  This is my highest priority when I take office.  This is my commitment to you.

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.