The 18 Candidates Running To Fill Tom Price's Former Seat | WABE 90.1 FM

The 18 Candidates Running To Fill Tom Price's Former Seat

Mar 27, 2017

Tom Price in now President Donald Trump's Secretary of Health and Human Services, which leaves a big vacancy in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. There are 18 candidates vying to fill it. 

The special election takes place on April 18, but early voting has already begun. The race has drawn national attention as a test of Trump's popularity, with Democrats pushing hard for the historically Republican district.

Read below to find out more information about the crowded field of candidates:

David Abroms (R-Sandy Springs)

The Republican is an accountant and owner of Freedom Fueling Solutions (converts vehicles to run on natural gas).

A self-described free market conservative and entrepreneur stressing independence from President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Sold his business and has spent $250,000 of his own money on the campaign. Supports reduction of regulations to spur job growth, private school vouchers and lessening American dependence on foreign oil. Favors replacing ObamaCare but says GOP is moving too fast. According to his campaign site, he was inspired to run to help find solutions to the future as a member of his generation (age 33). Opposed to Trump immigration ban; supports border control but not building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan (R-East Cobb)

The economist, professor and entrepreneurial leadership executive is a native of Bangladesh who became an American citizen with his wife in 2000.

Campaign platform is based around a slogan of “Prosperity for All” with an emphasis on helping expand  educational and small business opportunities for ordinary citizens. He and his wife helped create the Yunus Creative Lab with Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, and they were involved in efforts to organize a Peace Price recipients Congress in Atlanta. According to his campaign site, he’s the first Muslim Republican candidate for Congress and says his candidacy was launched in part to “give back” to the country he settled in as a college student 30 years ago.

Bob Gray (R-Johns Creek)

Calling himself a “Drain the Swamp” Republican (his campaign ad has him standing in water in a wooded area, with frogs, snakes and alligators nearby), Gray resigned his seat on the Johns Creek City Council to seek Congressional office. He advocates term limits, getting lobbyists out of Washington, overhauling the federal tax code, repealing ObamaCare and immigration reform. On his campaign site Gray said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and is “100% pro-life.” In a campaign forum he said he was running “to save the American Dream.”

Karen Handel (R-Roswell)

Handel was Fulton County Commission Chairwoman, 2003-2006; Georgia Secretary of State 2007-2010; a former policy VP at breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure; and a former president and CEO of North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Republican candidate for US Senate Karen Handel is seen here with her husband Steve.
Credit Phil Skinner / Associated Press

She describes herself on her campaign site as a lifelong conservative with a track record of “getting things done.” Committed to free enterprise, cutting government spending and regulations, repealing ObamaCare, simplifying the tax system and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. She is strongly pro-life and believes that life begins at conception. Her campaign ads have taken direct aim at Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, calling him a “lightweight liberal.” Handel and Ossoff have been leading most of the polls conducted as early voting commenced.

Keith Grawert (R-Dunwoody)

Recently retired from the military, Grawert said on his campaign site a high priority is U.S. national security. He calls himself a “common sense fiscal conservative” supporting individual freedom, smaller government, lower taxes and deferring to states “unless it’s spelled out in the Constitution.” Supports repealing ObamaCare but reform must address concerns of those with pre-existing conditions. In favor of term limits and a federal balanced budget; is pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.

Judson Hill (R-East Cobb)

Judson Hill
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Hill resigned the Senate seat he has held since 2005 to run for Congress, and advocates on his campaign site a desire to “continue the 6th Congressional District’s legacy of conservative leadership.” He said his first priority would be to replace ObamaCare with a “patient-centered, market-based alternative.” He supports tax cuts, the Second Amendment, pro-life policies, enforcement of immigration laws and balancing the federal budget. Hill has been endorsed Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who garnered the most votes among Republican voters in the 6th District in Georgia’s 2016 presidential primary.

Amy Kremer (R-East Cobb)

Tea Party activist and founder of Tea Party Patriots, later a member of Tea Party Express; chair of a Trump Super PAC and Women Vote Trump PAC during 2016 presidential campaign; former Delta flight attendant.

Takes a strong pro-Trump perspective on many issues, especially repealing ObamaCare, which she calls “an unmitigated disaster.” Supports cutting individual and corporate tax rates, tightening border security and devolving educational policy to the state and local levels. Her campaign managers and staff resigned right before early voting began, saying Kremer hasn’t been able to pay expenses. One of her pitches to supporters has been to seek donations for a chance to win an AR-15 rifle in a raffle drawing.

Bruce LeVell (R-Sandy Springs)

Jewelry store owner; former Gwinnett Republican Party chairman; national diversity coalition chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

LeVell said he wants to make Trump’s “America First Agenda a reality” and that he would serve no more than eight years in Congress or take special interest money. Appeared frequently on national TV as a Trump surrogate during the campaign, and his daughter is a White House communications assistant. “I actually have a personal relationship with the president,” LeVell said.

William Llop (R-Sandy Springs)

Certified public accountant; business and community activist in Sandy Springs; 11th Congressional District candidate in 2016. 

According to his campaign site Llop said the top priority facing the country is the economy, and he advocates changing the tax system to benefit small and individual business owners. He supports broader fiscal incentives to stimulate entrepreneurship, reduce deficit spending and reduce regulations. Llop supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment and the rights of gun owners.

Dan Moody (R-Johns Creek)

Formerly a Georgia State senator, Moody has served as chairman of the Ethics committee, vice chairman of the Education and Youth committee, and served as a member of the Administrative Affairs, Appropriations, Reapportionment and Redistricting and Rules committees, according to his official Georgia State senate page.

Dan Moody

According to his campaign website, Moody supports term limits in Congress, improving infrastructure, and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Moody says he agrees with President Trump that a border wall is necessary to secure the country’s borders, and believes the power to control education policy belongs in local hands, rather than the hands of the federal government. Moody also supports cutting taxes, balancing the federal budget and strengthening the U.S. Military.

Kurt Wilson (R-Roswell)

Has previously held positions in corporate leadership before becoming owner and partner of several businesses, according to his website. His primary platform is his desire to establish term limits in Congress, saying on his website that “term limits are the mechanism that force elected officials to have the political courage to make sweeping bureaucratic changes.”

Additionally, Wilson’s website says that he has “unfettered support” for the 2nd Amendment, that he supports big-stick diplomacy, wishes to balance the budget and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats

Ragin Edwards (D-East Cobb)

Previously worked in the office of Presidential Appointee Philip Mangano, with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Energy, as a social worker, and as a leader in a technology firm.

Her issues of interest include improving Georgia’s national education ranking, expanding the middle class, improving the affordability of medical care, reducing the wage gap for women, members of the LGBT community and minorities and making technology companies feel more welcome in Georgia, according to her campaign websites.

Edwards says on her website that she will create additional platforms to increase communication with constituents.

Richard Keatley (D-Tucker)

Served for seven years as a United States Navy officer, which included fighting in the First Gulf War, as well as working as an educator for Georgia State University.

According to his campaign website, Keatley will work to prevent the privatization of services such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Additionally, according to his official candidacy announcement, Keatley will “focus on the rights of veterans.” 

Jon Ossoff (D-Atlanta)

The Georgia native has worked as a journalist, a Congressional aide, a senior national security staffer with the U.S. Congress and currently leads a documentary company which investigates political corruption and organized crime, according to his campaign website.

Jon Ossoff
Credit Bill Barrow / Associated Press

Ossoff supports the reduction of taxes for small business owners, an increased minimum wage, the reduction of healthcare costs, and the promotion of civil rights. He supports pro-choice legislation and Planned Parenthood, Medicare, Social Security, and more. 

Rebecca Quigg (D-Marietta)

The physician, has served as a cardiologist for a number of university medical centers and hospitals, has worked as an Instructor of Medicine for Harvard Medical School, a healthcare reform educator and consultant, and currently works as a community organizer for Enroll America.

According to Quigg’s website, she will work to expand the Affordable Care Act and support a comprehensive healthcare solutionfor patients. Additionally, she opposes the privatization of Medicare and wishes to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. 

Ron Slotin (D- Sandy Springs)

A former State Senator who previously served on the Approriations, Rules, Education, Health and Judiciary Committees. Additionally, Slotin served as chair of the Subcommittee on Afforable Housing. During his time in office, Slotin supported the passage of the HOPE Scholarship. During his career, Slotin has served as a member of the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce and helped to create the 2009 Entertainment Tax Credits that attract entertainers to Georgia.

Slotin says on his website that he will work to increase federal education funding for Georgia Schools, fight to preserve many protections created by the Affordable Care Act, ensure equal healthcare costs for men and women, support tax credits for electric vehicles, support traffic-reducing measures and more.

Independents 

Alexander Hernandez (I-Dunwoody)

Hernandez has experience working in the film and television industry as a property craftsperson, and was elected to the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees executive board as a property craft representative, according to his website.

According to his website, Hernandez wishes to preserve Medicare, give a raise to United States service members, and improving the country’s infrastructure.

Andre Pollard (I-Milton)

Pollard is active in the Atlanta area technology community, serving as a Cloud Engineer, a member of the Alpharetta Technology commission, an AT&T Aspire Mentor and a former member of the Fulton County School Technical Advisory Committee. Additionally, Pollard leads a company which fosters startup businesses, a web development group and a technology company that drive mobile app development, according to the website.

He said on his website that he believes the interest of the country’s technology economy are not being represented in Washington. He wishes to foster “economic progress through technological innovation and cultural integration,” according to his website.