The election will be held Nov. 6. These local candidates are in contested races in Buckhead.

U.S. House of Representatives

Fifth District

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.

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 (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 (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

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 (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 (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 (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.

Georgia House of Representatives

54th District

Rep. Ed Lindsey

Edward Lindsey (R) (I)

Occupation:  Attorney and a founding partner in the law firm of Goodman McGuffey Lindsey and Johnson, LLP.

Residence:  Atlanta/Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood in Buckhead

Experience in elective office:  First elected in 2004 as a Republican to the Georgia House of Representatives, representing the North Atlanta Buckhead neighborhoods from Atlanta Memorial Park to Brookhaven. I serve as House Majority Whip, the fourth ranking leadership position in the House. Previously, I served as Chair of the House Appropriations Sub Committee on Education, Co-Chair of the Republican Caucus Policy Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee. I also serve on the Appropriations, Industrial Relations, Education, Ethics, Judiciary, and Rules Committees, as well as ex officio on all other standing House Committees.

Other community experience or activities:  I serve as one of Georgia’s commissioners to the Uniform Law Commission, a member of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, a member of the Advisory Board of the Georgia World Congress Center, and Chairman of the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

My role in the General Assembly is not to deliver edicts from the Gold Dome but to bring the wisdom of our Buckhead community to the legislative table where decisions are made.

This simple principle has led to passage of some of the most significant legislation in my public career and includes:  clarifying the crime of human trafficking and  toughening the penalties for it; giving the governor authority to suspend a school board if it failed to restore its district’s accreditation;  requiring impact fees to be spent on improvements in the area in which they were raised; creating one state website containing all local school, city, and county government in a searchable format; increasing fines on bars selling to minors; sponsoring a constitutional amendment that would cap property tax assessments and sponsoring a bill creating a fairer process for property owners appealing their reassessments.

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

We need to be prepared to hit the ground running on a number of issues in the 2013 General Assembly session including: taking steps to limit the role of Fulton County government now that most of the county lies within cities; capping increases in property tax assessments; pushing for reforms in transportation; banning egregious lobbyist activity; expanding charter schools; toughening curriculum standards in pre-school; closely tracking students’ reading progress in the critical K-3 grades; recognizing and rewarding good teachers and weeding out poor ones; expanding programs to make capital available for small high tech industries; and getting state universities to partner with local, private businesses.

Lynn Brown McKinney

Lynn Brown McKinney (D)

Occupation:  Sales and marketing executive

Residence:  Buckhead

Experience in elective office:   Fulton County Democratic Party post seat holder

Other community experience or activities:   PTA, Big Brother/Big Sister, Women’s shelter volunteer.

Why should the voters choose you for this position? 

The Georgia Legislature under Republican control has become a place of promoting a divisive social agenda instead of taking action to grow jobs. Instead of working to protect the middle class or talk with voters about the issues that matter most (like jobs and the economy), Republicans just can’t seem to get enough of their divisive Constitutional amendments. Voters should choose me because I will drastically change this environment  and drive legislative that focus on the voters priorities, including creating jobs and providing excellent public education.  

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

Given that Amendment 1 will be defeated (as a key current focus of my campaign, I urge all to Vote NO to Amendment 1 because this Constitutional change would take control of public schools from local parents and local school boards and put it into the hands of non-elected people appointed by the Governor) my immediate focus will be on shoring up our public schools, restoring funding to public schools and ensuring all teachers are ready to implement and teach the new Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Exceptional public education (whether via “traditional” or “charter” schools) for ALL Georgia Students is key to the economic and social future of Georgia.

Joe Earle

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.