Steven Strickland and Marcus Wiedower are competitors in the Republican primary on May 22, but they made it clear in comments to the Oconee County Republic Party late last month that they share the goal of taking back Georgia House District 119 from the Democrats in November.
Both blamed “complacency” for their and the party’s defeat in the four-person special election held last November to fill the unexpired term of Republican Chuck Williams. The election was won by Democrat Jonathan Wallace.
Houston Gaines, who has no competition in the Republican primary for Georgia House District 117, formerly held by Republican Regina Quick, was harsh in his criticism of incumbent Democrat Deborah Gonzalez, who defeated Gaines in another special election last November for the 117th Georgia House District.
Gaines said Gonzalez “got absolutely nothing done” in the legislative session just completed and “never will” accomplish anything in the General Assembly because she is in the minority party.
While Wiedower said he did not think incumbent Wallace is “representing us all” and criticized Wallace for voting with fellow Democrats, Gaines was much more critical of Wallace and of his opponent in November, Gonzalez.
“The voters, particularly in Oconee County, need to realize we’ve got two extremely far-to-the-left Democrats representing us in the General Assembly,” Gaines said.
Gaines said “we are fortunate to have conservative leadership” in the General Assembly.
“And we have somebody who is over there very far left who can’t get anything done,” Gaines said.
“Next November we have an opportunity to reverse that,” he added.
Gaines, Strickland and Wiedower were three of the seven candidates to speak to the Oconee County Republicans at the party’s regular meeting on Apr. 26.
Amy Parrish, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Post 2 on the Oconee County Board of Education, also addressed the group, as did Eric Norris, running to retain his Superior Court judgeship in the May 22 nonpartisan judicial general election.
Other speakers were Bradley Griffin from Jasper County, one of three Republicans running in the 10th Congressional District primary, and Jim Beck of Carrollton, running in the Republican primary for insurance commissioner.