Sandy Springs voters will go to the polls July 31 to choose nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties who will run in the general election in November. Voters also will decide whether a 1-cent sales tax should be imposed to pay for transportation projects in a 10-county region of metro Atlanta.

Here are candidates who face contested races on July 31 primary ballots.

Republican primary

U.S. House District 11

Phil Gingrey

Phil Gingrey, (I)

Occupation: Physician

Prior public service: Marietta City School Board; Georgia Senate; elected to represent District 11 in 2002

Community he lives in: Marietta

Why he is running for office: According to his website, Gingrey says he “has remained dedicated to fighting for the common sense, conservative values of the 11th District and of Georgians everywhere.”

For more information: www.gingrey.com

William Llop

William Llop

Occupation: Certified public accountant

Prior public service: None

Community he lives in: Sandy Springs

Why he is running for office: I am inspired to run as a congressman because, for the past 30 years, I have consulted and advised business leaders and entrepreneurs, individuals and businesses, on how to increase their economic prosperity. More importantly, I know how to increase jobs. I can do the same for our district.

For more information: www.williamllopcpaforcongress.com

Michael Opitz

Michael Opitz

Occupation: Registered mediator/arbitrator.

Prior public service: None

Community he lives in: Cobb County.

Why he is running for office: According to his website, “Michael is highly qualified to serve you in Congress. His extensive business background helped him learn effective leadership and teambuilding skills.”

For more information: www.opitzforcongress.org

Georgia Senate District 6

Josh Belinfante

Josh Belinfante

Occupation: Attorney

Prior public service: Executive and Deputy Counsel to Governor Sonny Perdue (2007-2009); Vice Chairman of the State Ethics Commission (2010-2011); Legal Counsel to House Judiciary Committee (2006); Law Clerk, Chief Judge J.L. Edmonson, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (2003-2004)

Community he lives in: Sandy Springs

Why he is running for office: “I have been serving residents of the 6th District in private practice and public service, and I hope to continue doing so from the State Senate. The experience I have as a partner in a small law firm makes me very aware of the challenges faced by businesses every day. As importantly, the knowledge I gained as Governor Perdue’s Chief Counsel provides me with a distinct understanding of state issues and the means to get things done for the residents of Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Smyrna and Vinings.”

For more information: www.joshforsenate.com

Drew Ellenburg

Drew Ellenburg

Occupation: President, Ellenburg Chair Company

Prior public service: Deacon, Eastside Baptist Church; President, Ellenburg Chair Company

Community he lives in: Buckhead

Why he is running for office: I am running for my children. Our government has accumulated a great amount of debt that we will be passing down to our children. We need a businessman who knows the importance of turning around our economy. I’ve built a successful business here. I know what it is like to meet a payroll in tough times and balance budgets. I will put my business experience to work for the sixth district to revive our economy by creating jobs, becoming more competitive with other states and supporting American-made products.

For more information: www.drewellenburg.com

Hunter Hill

Hunter Hill

Occupation: Director of Security, SecurAmerica

Prior public service: Lieutenant and Captain in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger: led multiple platoons and teams on three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq; Board Member, Department of Driver Services; Citizens Oversight Committee Member for the 2005 Cobb County T-SPLOST.

Community he lives in: Smyrna/Vinings

Why he is running for office: “I am running for State Senate because we need leaders in government who will fight for our founding principles of limited governments, low taxes, individual liberty and responsibility, and free enterprise. I am grateful for the leadership opportunities I have had in the military and in business, and I want to use this experience to make Georgia the most economically competitive state in the country.”

For more information: www.votehunterhill.com

Georgia House of Representatives District 45

Matt Dollar

Matt Dollar (I)

Occupation: Commercial real estate broker

Prior public service: First elected to general assembly in 2002

Community he lives in: East Cobb

Why he is running for office: “Matt Dollar has spent the last 10 years working hard for the citizens of East Cobb and getting results. As a key member of the Cobb delegation, he has worked to ensure the people of Georgia and the citizens of East Cobb are well represented. He stands for conservative values and you will not find a stronger fiscal conservative.”

For more information: http://mattdollar.us

Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson

Occupation: Information technology

Prior public service: None

Community he lives in: East Cobb

Why he is running for office: “I’m running to give businesses and individuals in the 45th District a clear choice for a candidate that will fight to reduce their personal tax burden and remove unnecessary regulations and taxation from businesses.”

For more information: http://nickjohnson2012.com

Cynthia Rozzo

Cynthia Rozzo

Occupation: Founder and publisher of a local community magazine

Prior public service: None

Residence: East Cobb

Why she is running for office: “I am the mother of three, a wife, a local business owner and community activist. Like you, my family and I enjoy the life we’ve created here in East Cobb. I share and truly understand your concerns for our education system, our local economy and public safety.”

For more information: http://cynthiarozzo.com

Democratic primary

U.S. House of Representatives District 6

Jeff Kazanow

Jeff Kazanow

Occupation: Businessman

Prior public service: Active with homeowners association in Marietta

Community he lives in: Cobb County

Why he is running for office: “It is time to restore sanity to Congress. We need to act now to continue bringing this country out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

For more information: www.kazanowforcongress.com

Robert Montigel

Robert Montigel

Occupation: Small business owner

Prior public service: Volunteer on the Washington Township, N.J, Environmental Commission and the Municipal Utilities Authority.

Community he lives in: Roswell

Why he is running for office: “I want to give voters a choice, a chance to change Congress. … We need to elect members of Congress who, like the Founding Fathers, are both principled and willing to compromise. … Politicians are often more concerned about how they will be graded by special interest groups than what is best for the country. Only voters can change this by electing principled and reasonable candidates who will represent the public they serve, and not special interest groups. I am running to offer the voting public a chance to change Congress.

For more information: www.iamfi.com

Clerk of Superior Court

Cathelene Tina Robinson

Cathelene “Tina” Robinson (I)

Occupation: Clerk of the Superior Court (Incumbent)

Prior Public Service: 5 years as clerk; worked previously in Fulton’s Health Department and Tax Commisioner’s office

Community she lives in: Atlanta

More information: www.fcclk.org

Boyd C. Chisolm

Occupation: President and CEO, Bakka International Corporation

Prior Public Service: Served in the Office of the Fulton County Clerk of Superior Court

Community he lives in: Atlanta

Reason for running: “I need your help as we take bold steps to make the Justice System more friendly for all Fulton County residents.”

More information: boydchisholm.com

Rodney Fowler

Rodney J. Fowler

Occupation: Supervisor, Fulton County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office

Community he lives in: Southwest Atlanta

Reason for running: “I will work for you to improve the quality and standard of customer service in the office of the clerk of Superior Court.”

More Information: www.rodneyfowler.net

Lewis Pittman

Lewis L. Pittman

Prior public service: Case manager for Superior Court

Community he lives in: South Fulton County

Reason for running: “I am running again for the office of the clerk of Superior Court because I believe I can improve the functionality and operations of a Fulton County department that affects the lives and livelihood of many citizens in Fulton County.”

More information: www.lewispittman.org

Sheriff

Theodore Jackson

Theodore “Ted” Jackson (I)

Occupation: Fulton County Sheriff

Prior public service: Thirty-two years in the FBI, Interim Sheriff in 2004, Fulton County Sheriff for three and a half years.

Why he is running for office: “I have used my 32 years of FBI experience, tenure as Interim Sheriff in 2004, and the last 3 ½ years as sheriff to restore dignity, prestige and image to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. I have implemented all promises made during my 2008 campaign. I have fully demonstrated proven leadership, experience, integrity, and commitment to provide strong management, competence and organizational structure.”

For more information : tedjacksonforsheriff2012.com

Frank L Brown

Frank L. Brown

Prior public service: Ten years as East Point’s Chief of Police, 27 years Jail management, 32 years law enforcement management and Supervision, 39 Years Member of East Point Police Department.

Why he is running for office: Brown is motivated by the murder of his teenage son. Brown dedicated his life to reducing crime, and mentoring youth. “My model is proven to enhance strong enforcement; promote safety in jails; save millions in taxpayers’ dollars and save children; while eliminating overcrowding and inhumane treatment of inmates. I bring more than 27 years of impeccable, direct hands-on jail management experience to this Office. I am the best qualified of all the candidates, and I have the best-proven and documented record for the Office of Fulton County Sheriff.”

For more information: www.franklbrown2012.org

Curtis Farmer

Curtis S. Farmer

Occupation: Supervisor for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Prior public service: 24 years with the Fulton County Sheriff Office, 20 years as a supervisor.

Community he lives in: East Point

Why he is running for office: Mr. Farmer believes fiscal responsibility and a unique cost-saving plan to build a new jail are the keys needs of the Fulton County sheriff’s department. As part of his vision for fiscal responsibility, Farmer has outlined a plan that will recoup some of the $223 million spent on criminal justice in Fulton County each year. “By relying on outdated policies and practices and allowing revenue derived from fines to go largely unpaid, our law enforcement leaders are basically throwing tax dollars away” Farmer said.

For more information: www.farmerforsheriff.com (404) 453-7611

Richard Lankford

Richard Lankford

Prior public service: 25 years experience as deputy sheriff in Indiana and Georgia, captain of the Fulton County sheriff’s department and former Fulton County sheriff.

Why he is running for office: “I have the knowledge, the experience and the track record to make these promises a reality! My commitment as sheriff –to bring the operations of the Fulton County Jail to an acceptable and efficient level of compliance and safety for the judges, attorneys, deputies, public defenders, inmates and the citizens of Fulton County, as it was when I was privileged to be sheriff; to restore a sense of pride and dignity to the department; to fully restore the Fulton County sheriff’s reserve to the respected position and significant membership numbers that existed, when I initially created it; to work cooperative with judges … [and] other county officials to effectively implement a workable master security plan for the courthouse; to initiate an upgraded hiring process; to audit and evaluate the department’s $100 million annual budget to detect unnecessary and unauthorized spending….”

For more information: www.richardlankfordforsheriff.com

Charles Shelton

Charles Shelton

Occupation: Retired Law Enforcement Officer

Prior Public Service: Safety Chair, Neighborhood Planning Unit H

Community he lives in: Atlanta

Reason for Running: “I’m the right man at the right time for the job for renewed safety and citizen confidence in the Sheriff’s office.”

More information: www.facebook.com/sheltonforsheriff/info

Solicitor General

Carmen Smith

Carmen Smith (I)

Occupation: Fulton County Solicitor General

Prior public service: Elected to the Office of Solicitor General in 1996 and re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Community she lives in: South Atlanta

Why she is running for office: “I have served as Fulton County’s Solicitor General since 1997. As Solicitor General, I prosecute misdemeanors for Fulton County, state misdemeanor crimes, and determine which cases are able to be prosecuted. I’m dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of crimes, enforcing Georgia law, making fair prosecuting decisions, and holding defendants accountable for their conduct. Join us in support of our effort to make Fulton County a better and safer place.”

For more information: www.keepcarmen.org, (404) 202-7826

Teri Walker

Teri Walker

Occupation: Senior Assistant Solicitor General in DeKalb County

Prior public service: Worked in solicitor’s offices of Atlanta, Fulton County, and DeKalb County

Why she is running for office: “I believe that I was born to advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves. That’s one of the reasons I became a prosecutor. My campaign for solicitor general is about modernizing criminal prosecution to address the current criminal climate. That would include adding a layer of structure to the current office, creating specialized criminal prosecution units and better employing technology in the process. I want to restore integrity and respect in the Fulton County Judicial System by being smart on crime and smarter on crime prevention.”

For more information: www.teriwalkerforsolicitorgeneral.com

Tax Commissioner

Arthur Ferdinand

Arthur Ferdinand (I)

Occupation: Fulton County Tax Commissioner

Community he lives in: Fulton County

Why he is running for office: “The office of Tax Commissioner has given me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Fulton County residents by consistently maintaining a high collection rate so that the county, schools, and cities for which I collect taxes can depend on and be confident that the funds needed to provide the services taxpayers expect will be delivered. I am running to continue keeping the collection rate high so that all taxpayers benefit from a low taxing rate; to continue the transformation of the tax office for convenience and accessibility to all Fulton County residents; and to continue to use common sense and my knowledge of tax laws to balance the demands of the office of Tax Commissioner and obligations to taxpayers.”

Prior public service: Eight years Tax Commissioner of Fulton County

For more information: www.arthurferdinand.org

John Jamont

John Jamont

Occupation: homebuilder

Prior Public Service: none

Community he lives in: Johns Creek

Why he is running for office: “John believes people want fair taxation. Like other taxpayers, John’s property values plummeted and tax assessments had to be adjusted. He believes tax payers would like to pay their taxes on time to avoid extra charges and penalties. For many residents of Fulton County, property taxes have become a nightmare. John has witnessed countless errors by the tax office. He has met with delinquent taxpayers and realized the heartbreaking stories that have evolved from red tape government errors. … As a victim of a wrongful foreclosure, John will make every effort to notify the rightful owner of each and every delinquent taxpayer. “

For more information: www.electjamont.com

Royce John Morris

Occupation: Real estate investor

Community he lives in: Atlanta

Prior public service: Lobbied Georgia Legislature as a taxpayer advocate to conduct a study on Fulton County neighborhoods.

Why he is running for office: “It’s time to restore the tax commissioner position to the people. Arthur Ferdinand … must go! Help me be your taxpayer advocate!”

For more information: http://electrjmorris.com/

Sources: candidates’ campaign websites, candidates’ responses