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In the upcoming Aug. 11 runoff election for state House District 20 representative, voters will be choosing between Katrina Singletary and Charlice Byrd. Byrd got 3,945 votes in the Republican primary last month to Singletary’s 1,302 in the five-candidate race.

Each candidate answered questions from the newspaper about themselves and their plans to serve if elected.

Charlice Byrd

Age: 68

Education: BA Degree in Elementary Education

Residence: Woodstock

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Community and political activist

Why are you the best person for the job?: I strongly believe in substantial community and civic experience, active participation in a political party, and the ability to communicate and advocate the party’s principles. I am a proven conservative and believe in the core principles of decreasing the size of government, lessening the tax burden; promoting personal responsibility; protecting personal liberties and exercising the proper role of government. As someone who has served our community, I know what it takes to protect our community, lower our taxes, keep balanced budgets and fight for our values.

Relevant experience: I served in the Georgia Legislature for four terms. There are many conservative principles in jeopardy, and I am concerned about the moral and fiscal direction of Georgia. Thus, if you want something done right, do it yourself and I want to be a conservative voice at the Capitol. My work at the capitol is not complete, and look forward to continuing the work of streamlining our government by holding it accountable, reducing its size and limiting its power. As progress is made, we will enjoy the benefits of lower taxes, less government, greater freedom and a burgeoning economy.

What are some specific things you would like to accomplish if elected?: On my first day in office I would file the Georgia Government Accountability Act aka Sunset Bill. The bill’s aim is to establish a method by which the efficiency of state government is regularly reviewed and the productivity of each agency evaluated to ensure state agencies, departments and other entities are held accountable. I would work with all stakeholders — city, county and state for Cherokee’s projects to be a priority. We can all agree that healthcare needs to be improved, costs reigned in and made affordable to the patients of Georgia. I applaud the General Assembly for tackling surprise medical billing. The foster care program in Georgia is in need of reform and those children deserve advocates in the General Assembly. I am a longtime advocate for immigration reform in our country, but always said the first step is securing America’s borders and ports of entry.

Katrina Singletary

Age: 37

Education: B.A. in Counseling from The Baptist College of Florida. Masters in Public Policy from GSU

Residence: Woodstock

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Former Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Roswell

Why are you the best person for the job?: I believe that I represent a growing movement that our community is excited to support. We are showing surrounding communities in Georgia and the nation what a government accountable to the people really looks like by not taking lobbyist money and committing to term limits. I am excited about all we can accomplish together as a community dedicated to these principles. I stand firm on conservative issues like constitutional protection, 2nd amendment rights, limited government, and others but I also maintain sight of the issues directly impacting Woodstock, like local control, development, education, traffic, and the policies around those issues that are driving our quality of life here.

Relevant experience: I have spent the last five years working for a local government, mastering how to measure and study the implications of policy. I truly understand that these policies, enforced by our local government, have the biggest impact on our quality of life, which means local control must be protected. I have spent the last three years, not only working full-time, but also going to school at night to earn my master’s degree in Public Policy. I feel that my experience, reinforced by my education, has prepared me to be the best State Representative for Cherokee County and I’m excited to have the opportunity to prove that this year.

What are some specific things you would like to accomplish if elected?: I am very passionate about creating policy that updates and reforms Georgia’s adoption laws and foster care system. This is very personal to me. My family went through a very challenging time, which lead to my husband and I caring for the children of extended family members. So, this is a system that I have had first-hand experience trying to navigate. I want to create policy that is centered around permanent placement for the child. I will also reintroduce the term limits bill. Mandated term limits are a way to hold leaders accountable and reduces tendencies toward corruption. I will push for expansion of transparency by introducing a bill requiring all votes taken in committee and subcommittees to be recorded and published on the bill’s website. The state requires any local government entity to record and publish any vote taken, even in working committee meetings. The state should adhere to those standards.

The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Ginny Lennox in the Nov. 3 General Election.

Early and advance voting begins July 20 and continues weekdays through Aug. 7 at the Cherokee County Elections and Voter Registration office, 400 E. Main St., Canton. Voting hours for early and advance voting are 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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