Six qual­ify for spe­cial elec­tion

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - REGION - BY TYLER JETT STAFF WRITER

Six can­di­dates qual­i­fied for a spe­cial elec­tion for an open state house seat in North­west Ge­or­gia.

The elec­tion for the Dis­trict 5 seat, which cov­ers Gor­don and Mur­ray coun­ties, will take place Jan. 8. The dead­line to reg­is­ter to vote is Wed­nes­day. Early vot­ing be­gins Dec. 17.

The can­di­dates are run­ning to re­place the late state Rep. John Mead­ows, R-Cal­houn, who served 14 years in the leg­is­la­ture and died Nov. 13, a week af­ter win­ning re-elec­tion. Mead­ows was the House Rules Com­mit­tee chair­man.

If no one re­ceives more than 50 per­cent of the vote next month, the two top vote-get­ters will go to a runoff on Feb. 5.

The can­di­dates are: › Matt Bar­ton Age: 46

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Owner of a courier busi­ness that spe­cial­izes in health­care

Fam­ily: Wife, Lynne; chil­dren, Kathryn and Leslie

Po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion: Repub­li­can

Po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: Cal­houn City Schools Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­ber; Cal­houn City coun­cil­man; pres­i­dent of Dis­trict 1, Ge­or­gia Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion What he thinks sep­a­rates him: “I work to pro­vide the needed ser­vices to the cit­i­zens in the most cost ef­fec­tive way. I have an es­tab­lished record of vot­ing to re­duce waste and im­prove op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency. My record is there to see, no guess­ing on how I will vote.”

› Steve Cochran

Age: 63

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Real es­tate in­vestor, for­mer owner of a mov­ing com­pany

Fam­ily: Wife, Tina; stepchil­dren, Der­rick Forester, 30; LaSunba Mul­li­nax, 37; and Brodie Pullen, 30

Po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion: Repub­li­can

Po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: None

What he thinks sep­a­rates him: “I want to make sure that there is a com­mon-sense ap­proach to the state bud­get. And I want to try to take care of the ed­u­ca­tion. I would like to see ed­u­ca­tion geared to­ward ev­ery­body.”

› Larry Massey Jr.

Age: 52

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Self em­ployed; for­mer U.S. Ma­rine Corps ma­jor, flew AV-8B Har­rier jump jets and KC-130 Her­cules trans­port air­craft

Fam­ily: Wife, Amy; chil­dren, Atherton, 13, and Aughton, 8

Po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion: Repub­li­can

Po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: Cur­rent Gor­don County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­ber, term ex­pires this year. Ap­pointed in 2017. Lost re-elec­tion this year in Repub­li­can pri­mary, 1,510-1,333. Mem­ber of the Gor­don County Repub­li­can Party.

What he thinks sep­a­rates him: “I’m a life­long Repub­li­can, a true con­ser­va­tive. My core val­ues are God, fam­ily, coun­try, com­mu­nity and hard work.”

› Brian Rosser

Age: 29

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Mu­si­cian, mu­sic pro­ducer

Fam­ily: Fi­ancee, Sa­van­nah Britt

Po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion:

Demo­crat

Po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence:

Lost elec­tion against Mead­ows on Nov. 6, 12,9142,919 for Demo­cratic Party of Gor­don County

What he thinks sep­a­rates him: Ad­vo­cates for Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion in Ge­or­gia and ban on pri­vate fund­ing of po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns. “My big­gest prob­lem in pol­i­tics is the cor­ro­sive na­ture of cor­po­rate money.”

› Scott Tid­well

Age: 46

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Life in­sur­ance sales­man, se­nior pas­tor of Prayer Bap­tist Church in Chatsworth

Fam­ily: Wife, Char­ity; chil­dren Lind­sey, 23; LeAnn, 22; A.J., 19; and Owen, 14

Po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion: Repub­li­can

Po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence: Lost Repub­li­can pri­mary for state Se­nate Dis­trict 53 seat, 5,014-4,471. For­mer cen­tral re­gional di­rec­tor for Ge­or­gia Repub­li­can Party’s 14th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict. Vol­un­teered on Ge­orge W. Bush pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, Brian Kemp’s gu­ber­na­to­rial cam­paign

What he thinks sep­a­rates him: “(Re­li­gious Free­dom Restora­tion Act), I’m pas­sion­ate about that. Un­der Kemp, we have a great chance of that be­ing passed.”

› Jesse Vaughn

Age: 45

Oc­cu­pa­tion: At­tor­ney

Fam­ily: Wife, Christy; chil­dren Sarah Beth, 16; Hud­son, 7

Po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion:

Repub­li­can

Po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence:

Precinct cap­tain and par­lia­men­tar­ian for Gor­don County Repub­li­can Party

What he thinks sep­a­rates him: “The real thing com­ing out of the Ge­or­gia Gen­eral Assem­bly that this dis­trict needs is less taxes and more job cre­ation.”

Larry Massey Jr.

Scott Tid­well

Jesse Vaughn

Matt Bar­ton

Brian Rosser

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