Josh McLaurin

Josh McLaurin

Occupation: Attorney, Krevolin & Horst, LLC

Previous elected offices held: None

Other community service experience: I previously served on the board of the Clarke County Mentor Program, one of Georgia’s largest mentoring programs, as a student coordinator. In law school, I served as a volunteer public school teacher for a year, teaching students about their constitutional rights. After law school, I joined and still serve on the steering committee for the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Representation Project.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

I’m in this race because Georgia’s legislature has veered away from issues people care about, and the course needs correcting. Voters care about access to affordable healthcare and quality public education. They care about reducing commute times and protecting the environment for our families to enjoy. If our elected officials cared about the same things, we wouldn’t have such ugly and divisive politics. We need a new direction.

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

The biggest issue is to ensure the economy works for everyone, not just a privileged few. Doing so involves a variety of reforms: more affordable healthcare, quality education that prepares students for the workforce, and tax credits that reward working people for contributing to the economy. To address these goals, I will support the expansion of Medicaid, restoration of the full HOPE scholarship and a Georgia Earned Income Tax Credit.

After the new “ATL” regional transit authority forms, what local transit priorities would you advocate, if any?

We need a more comprehensive heavy rail system as means of reducing congestion and attracting business and investment to our area. Atlanta is a burgeoning metropolis competing with other cities around the country for people and talent. It’s time to make real investments in transit so we can keep up with the rest of the United States.

What is your position on reducing or eliminating the state income tax and why?

The state income tax funds some of our most important priorities as a state. I do not support eliminating it, and I think reducing it in any way should require careful study and efforts to make any reduction revenue-neutral.

John Ruch

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