State House District 44
Jones deserves to return
There have been some rumblings that Rep. Sheila Jones isn't responsive to her constituents. And that she has been less than anxious to participate in debates during this election season. But while many first-time legislators take a seat in the back of the class, Jones moved front and center during her first term and aggressively worked to pass laws benefiting children, the elderly and the environment. During her first two years, she successfully sponsored six pieces of legislation. Not bad for a freshman rep, and certainly deserving of a second term.
District 44 includes parts of Fulton and Cobb counties, including Vinings, Cummings and Bankhead.
State House District 56
Ashe is an excellent rep
In 2001, Kathy Ashe switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party -- just in time to see the Dems lose control of the Legislature and the Governor's Mansion. Right away, that should tell you something about Ashe's character. She's about more than politics. This past session, Ashe worked to pass a bill that makes sure the renewal fees for breast cancer license tags go to an indigent care trust fund. Throughout her career, she's led the charge to improve the state's schools, and this past year she worked to preserve HOPE scholarships.
District 56 includes parts of Castleview, Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, Atlanta University Center, Centennial Place, downtown, Vine City, Home Park, Atlantic Station, Midtown, Ansley Park and Sherwood Forest.
State House District 58
Thornell's the choice in a great field
District 58 voters have a tough choice. Allen Thornell, Paul Bolster, Elena Kaplan and Robbin Shipp are all good candidates, with both Thornell and Bolster holding the most qualifications. Bolster served 12 years in the Legislature during the 1970s and 1980s, and has been a staunch advocate for the homeless. Thornell, who is gay and HIV-positive, may bring a more contemporary viewpoint. He has a background in public relations and spent two years as the head of Georgia Equality, the state's largest gay rights organization, as well as two years lobbying for the Service Employees International Union. He'd be a great representative for District 58. In the process, he may break down some barriers.
District 58 includes parts of East Atlanta, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, Ormewood Park, Edgewood, Kirkwood, Benteen, Emerald Lake, and Grant Park.
State House District 59
Dean's not perfect, but he's bold
Incumbent Douglas Dean is no role model. In 2001, cops found cocaine in his car. Dean got off with a slap on the wrist, but the damage to his reputation was done. That is what's wrong with Dean. But there's a lot to like. Dean impressed us in 2004 when he stood up to intolerance among many in the Legislative Black Caucus by urging them to vote against the proposed gay marriage ban. This year, with the governor planning for a special legislative session to draft a new gay marriage ban, Dean's doing it again. Dean has also stood up for the rights of the elderly. He may not be perfect, but the residents of District 59 could do worse.
District 59 includes parts of Midtown, Old Fourth Ward, Grant Park, Peoplestown, Summerhill, Polar Rock, Thomasville, Lakewood and Joyland.
State House District 84
Abrams the clear choice
There are two contenders in this race. On the one hand, you've got former state Rep. George Maddox, who during his tenure in the Senate killed legislation to modernize unemployment insurance and attracted attention for failing to disclose $200,000 in state grants made to a nonprofit run by his wife. On the other hand, you've got former Atlanta Deputy City Attorney Stacey Abrams. Georgia Trend put her on its "Top 40 under 40" list, and Ebony magazine named Abrams one of its "30 Leaders of the Future." Abrams is on the board of directors at Hands on Atlanta. She's got a law degree from Yale and an extremely bright political future. Vote for Abrams.
District 84 includes all or part of Druid Hills, Candler Park, Kirkwood, Lake Claire and East Lake.
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