Qualifying: Day No. 1

Local qualifying runs through Friday.

Let election season begin. Qualifying, , started Wednesday.

Here are some of the people who qualified and issued press releases:

, Republican candidate for Cherokee County Board of Education, Post 1

Today, Kelly Marlow officially qualified for Cherokee County School Board, District 1.

"It is my honor and privilege as a Republican to qualify for the upcoming July 31st primary," declared Mrs. Marlow. "I plan to dedicate myself full-time to the board in an effort to unite our community around one focused goal, to ensure that every child in Cherokee County gets a top-notch public education."

Mrs. Marlow has invited the community to meet her at the BridgeMill Park on June 1st from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition, Mrs. Marlow announced today that "to show how serious I am about putting students first, if elected, I plan to initiate an immediate 'Classroom Grant' program to be funded by my personal monthly Board of Education stipend."

Mrs. Marlow added, "It's time to challenge our board members to take steps to make education in the classroom their first priority."

For more information about Kelly Marlow and her campaign, please visit www.kellyforourschools.com.

• • •

, Republican candidate for Cherokee County Tax Commissioner

Cherokee County Tax Commissioner Sonya Little qualified today for tax commissioner. Commissioner Little is currently finishing the unexpired term of David Fields, the former tax commissioner who retired due to health reasons in early 2011. After taking the oath of office, Ms. Little hit the ground running redoubling her efforts to make the tax and tag office as user friendly as possible.

“Having worked for Commissioner Fields I knew the systems but when I had the opportunity to implement some of the changes, like Saturday hours, I moved as quickly as possible to add this service for the tax payers convenience,” Ms. Little said.

Upon qualifying, former Commissioner Fields immediately endorsed Ms. Little and her bid for office.

“Frankly, I knew I had left the office in good hands, but I have to say I am truly impressed to know her dedication matches, and perhaps surpasses, that which I held so dear during my tenure,” Fields said.

Since Ms. Little took office, the Cherokee County Tax office has been heralded as a “model” for other county offices around the state. 

Ms. Little resides in Canton with her husband Jeff. They have two grown children who also reside in Cherokee County. The Littles are members of McHelen Baptist Church.

• • •

, Republican candidate for State House District No. 21

Four months ago today, when I kicked off this campaign to seek the Republican nomination for State House District 21, it was with a servant’s heart and a goal of restoring faith in government. One of the greatest opportunities this campaign has offered me is the chance to listen to the concerns and issues that are important to the people of Cherokee County.

It is apparent that our community has become polarized over what is the best way to educate our children. It is unfortunate and unnecessary that those that support the concept of school choice and those that support traditional public education have been separated into groups and pitted against each other by our current leadership. When did these two concepts become mutually exclusive? We can do better than a community that has been polarized on this issue. To get beyond this nasty us vs. them mentality, we will need a choice in candidates and true representation.

Also, tax reform has long been piecemealed together with the best breaks going to those with the best lobbyists. We can do better than using the tax code as a carrot and a stick. We need to clean the slate, implement a fair tax and put everyone on a level playing field. If we want to see real tax reform and not various programs that are cobbled together to appease the lobbyists, then we will need a choice in candidates.

Finally, as voters head into the booth on July 31st, where they will be asked to tax themselves to fund the T-SPLOST to the tune of $8.5 billion, they would be penalized by having to provide a higher level of matching funds for local projects if they don’t agree to the tax. We can do better and therefore I have called for the repeal of this threatening legislation, because you should never be penalized for not agreeing to be taxed. We also need someone that will fight to maintain control of the funding of any projects, like new lanes on 575, and prevent the building of toll lanes financed by foreign countries. 

Further, I don’t believe any amendment to the T-SPLOST legislation will be acceptable until dissenting voters have a guaranteed ability to opt-out of the program as soon as a vote fails in each of their respective counties. I will fight to ensure that this option is made available to my fellow voters. I embarked on the mission of raising awareness about issues such as the need for ethics reform, and I have placed the utmost importance on hearing disparate, even competing sides of the issues I just mentioned. My experiences in meeting and hearing from a wide range of voters in my County and District have reaffirmed my conviction that we can do better. We can do better.

And so, by qualifying formally for this nomination today, I offer myself up as a better choice to the voters of the new 21st district.

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