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In the upcoming Aug. 11 runoff election for state House District 21 representative, voters will be choosing between engineer Brad Thomas and retired prosecutor Bill Fincher. Fincher got 4,468 votes in the Republican primary last month to Thomas’ 3,398 in the three-way race.

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

Bill Fincher

Age: 67

Education: Graduate of Mercer University and Woodrow Wilson School of Law

Residence: Holly Springs

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Retired Assistant District Attorney. Now a full-time candidate for public office

Why are you the best person for the job?: I am the best person for this job because of my experience, education, and heart for service to my community. As we face redistricting and many other challenges, I am a steady hand seeking the best for Cherokee County.

Relevant experience: I have conducted numerous jury trials and achieved hundreds of negotiated settlements. I was instrumental in establishing a Child Support Accountability Court that has served as a model for other similar courts throughout the state. I have chaired church committees and been an officer in civic clubs including the newly formed Holly Springs Optimist Club. I am a graduate of Leadership Cherokee.

What are some specific things you would like to accomplish if elected?: I would like to fight for wise use of the monies provided by our citizens through taxes; avoiding waste and inefficiency. I want to seek tax relief for homeowners and families trying to educate their children and grandchildren. I believe the many problems we face are essentially “challenges” which can be solved by using careful planning and negotiation. We must find the best allocation of resources to remediate the many issues we face. Obviously, we have not been getting our fair share of the resources the State of Georgia allocates for our county. I seek to join our other delegation members in reconciling differences so that we may present a unified front to the agencies of government seeking a reallocation much more favorable to the needs of our county.

Brad Thomas

Age: 40

Education: Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology

Residence: Woodstock

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Principal Engineer / Owner and Partner in Local Engineering Firm

Why are you the best person for the job?: We need someone who is a fighter for families, veterans, seniors and neighbors. I am proud to have served in the Navy and have demonstrated my willingness to fight for our country. I have also been a voice for citizens in my area regarding local issues. I believe in principle and will always fight for what’s right. The best way to govern is by electing experts in various fields to work together and write policy. Currently, we don’t have a single engineer in our legislature. My profession is known for problem solving and analytical skills and we need more of that in government. I look forward to bringing those skills to policy making. My ambition allowed me to put myself through college, obtain my engineering license and eventually become a small business owner and leader. I look forward to putting my drive and business savvy to work for our district.

Relevant experience: This is the first time I have run for office, so I don’t have a political resume. After seeing politicians at work, it’s become obvious to me, we need more leaders in office who understand what it takes to lead a successful business, not experience in growing government. Unlike the government, businesses must survive in a free market economy. Survival requires leaders with vision, adaptability and perseverance. I have all those qualities combined with an engineering background providing me with over 20 years of problem solving and analytical experience.

What are some specific things you would like to accomplish if elected?: I am not running for what I would like to accomplish, but for what the citizens in the district need me to focus on. Overwhelmingly the No. 1 complaint is our traffic congestion. Nothing would be more rewarding to me than knowing our families are spending more time together along with our vets, seniors and neighbors less worried about traffic. This requires more than just building roads, it means working to attract local companies to Cherokee County and promoting ideals that keep cars off the road such as work from home programs. I will focus there first.

The winner of the runoff will face Democrat William Hughes in the Nov. 3 General Election.

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