Christine Triebsch

Christine Triebsch.

Occupation: Family law trial attorney in both Superior and Juvenile Courts in Cobb and surrounding metro counties. Business owner, Christine A. Triebsch, P.C.

Previous elected offices held: None.

Other community service experience: St. James Episcopal Church, East Cobb Rotary, Cobb Bar Association and State Bar of Georgia.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

The voice of a common-sense, compassionate, moderate Democrat has not been heard in state Senate District 32 (SSD32) for a very long time, as it has been represented by a Republican senator for over 20 years. It is time for new leadership in SSD32 and the state. I believe that all races should be contested. The voters will decide the type of government they want when they elect the candidate that most closely represents their preferences and values on important issues such as healthcare in the middle of pandemic, public education, gerrymandering, common-sense gun legislation, etc.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

Healthcare! I support quality, affordable healthcare for all Georgians, which includes expanding Medicaid. We are in a pandemic. Georgians are dying, hospitals are closing, people are losing their jobs. There is nothing more pressing than health insurance. The Republicans have refused for years to expand Medicaid, which means forgoing billions in federal dollars that could have prevented rural hospitals from closing and could have injected money into the economy and, most of all, could have helped marginalized Georgians, women and children and veterans, etc., access much-needed health insurance. Gaining health insurance reduces the chance of dying. Healthcare is non-partisan!

The incumbent has defeated you in two previous elections for this seat. Why should voters reconsider their choice this time?

In 2017, I ran in a “jungle primary” for Judson Hill’s unexpired term. In 2018, I challenged the incumbent in her effort to win a first full term, and I am doing it again. The Republican incumbent’s historic voting record and position speaks for itself: 1) She does not support expanding Medicaid; and 2) She voted against public schools when she voted for private school vouchers. She voted to reduce the benefits of the Dual Enrollment program. I support the expansion of Medicaid and public schools. Voters are smart and compassionate and will vote according to their values.

What would be your policy priority in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic?

Looking at the statistics and data, our state is doing poorly. Today, Georgia has lost 6,822 innocent children and adults to this pandemic. I would follow the science, the CDC, and the data. I would make masks mandatory. As stated by CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield, “We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”

What state law changes, if any, should follow as a result of this year’s protests about racism and police brutality?

My initial suggestion would be better vetting of the prospective officer, followed by thorough, quality education and training. Upon proper vetting for the position, education and training, the officer will be in a better position to protect the community. Law enforcement’s job is extremely difficult, and it is up to the community to give the officer all of the tools needed to be successful, to gain public trust, and to prevent tragedies.

What is an under-the-radar issue that needs more attention in the next legislative session?

Not sure it is under the radar, but with the 2020 Census, it will be time to redraw the voting districts. Let’s eliminate the gerrymandered voting districts and the diluted vote. I fully support a non-partisan, independent commission to address gerrymandered districts. This should be a non-political issue. The Republican incumbent opposes an independent commission to redraw voting districts. It is well past time for the voters to pick their representatives, unlike the current system where the representatives pick their voters.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.