Candidates Get a Jumpstart Campaigning Before Qualifying
Qualifying for state and county elections is Wednesday through Friday.
Qualifying for state and county elections begins Wednesday, but that hasn’t stopped some prospective candidates from campaigning early. Several stopped by Monday’s Smyrna City Council meeting to introduce themselves to the city.
Drew Ellenburg plans to run for the District 6 State Senate seat currently held by Doug Stoner. He rolled in to City Hall with a special campaign vehicle and promises to bring a business perspective to the Senate seat.
“I’m definitely not running for $17,342,” he said. “I’m not running for any kind of power or prestige. I just think we need a candidate that understands this economy and understands business and what we’re going through. We’ve been a shining city on the hill for many years and I believe we’re losing our glow.”
Another potential District 6 candidate followed Ellenburg at the podium. Josh Belinfante, a Smyrna native who now resides in Sandy Springs, touted his experience as Gov. Sonny Purdue’s chief counsel.
“I learned the state budget,” he said. “I learned how to pass laws. As importantly I learned how to kill some bills and make sure they never reach the governor’s desk. I know y’all might not believe this, but every bill that’s introduced in the General Assembly might not be the best idea. I’m running to put that kind of focus and that kind of experience to work for the people where I grew up in my hometown.”
Both Ellenburg and Belinfante said they are first-time candidates. Another first-timer presented himself to the city at Monday’s meeting. William Llop, a certified public accountant, said he’s pursuing the 11th Congressional District currently occupied by Rep. Phil Gingrey. Like Ellenburg, he thinks the job needs to be approached from a business perspective.
“I know some of you know and I think we may agree that we have no idea where our money goes when we send it off in April, our tax-filing deadline,” he said. “I’m a CPA and I understand numbers. It’s time for someone to go to Washington that understands math. I will continue my efforts to pursue job growth I our district through promoting reasonable wages, making sure new businesses realize that our cost of housing is lower than the national average and that our roads and international airport will certainly be a plus.”
Two judicial candidates took the podium as well. Judge Roland Castellanos has served as a Cobb County State Court Judge for 12 years, but is now seeking a position on the State Superior Court that’s being vacated by another judge.
At least one candidates is already vying for Castellanos' seat. Marsha Lake, a private attorney in Cobb County, is seeking to fill the vacancy.
“The role of a State Court Judge is to preside over criminal misdemeanor cases that oftentimes involve DUIs, alcohol and drug-related charges and a large number of young offenders in the criminal justice system,” she said. “Considering the type of cases that a State Court Judge will face, three responsibilities must be met for the people of Cobb County. They are one, keep our community safe; two, fairly and effectively apply the law; and three uphold the constitution.”
Other candidates have gotten a jumpstart campaigning as well. Several have made the rounds at city council meetings and local business association meetings. One Cobb County Chairman candidate has made blogging for Patch part of his campaign strategy. Check out Mike Boyce’s post about TSPLOST and other local issues. Candidates interested in blogging for Patch can click here or contact the editor at email@example.com.
Qualifying is today through Friday at noon. The following county partisan offices qualify with their respective county party:
- Tax Commissioner
- Clerk of Superior Court
- Clerk of State Court
- Judge of Probate Court
- Chief Magistrate Judge
- Commission Chairman
- County Commissioner (Districts 2 & 4)
- County School Board (Districts 1, 3, 5 & 7)
The following state partisan offices qualify with their respective state party:
- U.S. Representative Congress (Districts 6, 11, and 13)
- Public Service Commissioner (2 seats)
- State Senator (Districts 6, 21, 32, 33, & 37)
- State Represenattive (Districts 32 – 45)
- District Attorney
The following county nonpartisan offices will qualify with the Cobb County Elections Office:
- Judge of State Court (Posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7)
- Judge of State Court, Division II (Posts 2, 3 & 5)
The following state nonpartisan offices qualify with the Secretary of State's Office:
- Justice, Supreme Court (4 seats)
- Judge Court of Appeals (6 seats)
- Judge Superior Court (7 seats)
Check back with Smyrna-Vinings Patch later in the day to see who's qualified.