The June 9 Republican primary for the Georgia Senate District 21 seat matches currently serving members of the General Assembly who didn’t expect to be facing each other.

Incumbent Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta was running for the District 6 House seat in Congress last year before dropping out. When he decided to instead seek reelection to his old seat, there was already a Republican candidate seeking it, state Rep. Michael Caldwell, R-Woodstock. Caldwell was running for the Senate while keeping a promise he made to voluntarily limit his terms in the House.

Now each is making the case why he would be the best choice for District 21 voters.

As Executive Director of the North Fulton Community Improvement District, Beach says he understands the private sector creates jobs, not the government. And he said he knows what government regulations can do to hurt expansion. Beach said he feels that what the government can do is create a conducive environment with lower taxes, less regulation, educated workforce, and infrastructure investment.

“Georgia has done this and this is the reason we are the No. 1 state to do business seven years in a row,” Beach said. “As chairman of the transportation committee in the senate, I have led the way to bring $90 million in infrastructure investment to District 21.”

Born and raised in Cherokee County and a current resident of Woodstock, Michael Caldwell has eight years (four terms) of experience serving in Georgia’s House of Representatives and has been consistently rated as one of the most conservative members of Georgia’s General Assembly — No. 5 by the American Conservative Union. He said he is the first member of the legislature to refuse lobbyist money before or after getting elected, never accepting money for his campaign, as a gift, or as a meal from a registered lobbyist. He has also authored and sponsored a constitutional amendment to place term limits on state legislature and is the only candidate in this race who supports term limits. Caldwell said he feels his private sector experience as founder of the app and web company Black Airplane is where he has the biggest advantage.

“One of the most important differences comes down to my private sector experience,” Caldwell said. “I am the only candidate who owns a business and employs our fellow Georgians. My career in the private sector includes starting companies, selling companies to Fortune 100 corporations, and currently has me employing 17 full time employees at our software company located in downtown Woodstock. When making decisions at the capitol that affect our citizens and businesses, it’s vitally important that we have a Senator who prioritizes campaign finance and ethics reform and has a direct understanding of what it takes to run a business.”

Beach said he has worked to get the widening of Ga. Highway 20 done faster and for less money. If reelected, he said his next priority will be the widening of Ga. Highway 140 from I-575 to Roswell. Beach said he will also work with local elected officials to make sure 21st century infrastructure is in place such as fiber, small cells and the technology needed to continue to make Georgia competitive and create jobs for the 21st century.

Caldwell said that if he is elected to the Senate, he will continue to fight for term limits on members of the General Assembly, fight toward the elimination of Georgia’s income tax and “to protect both the unborn and the born.” He said enhancing outcomes for new mothers, foster children and educational opportunities for all children will remain a priority, while also defending second amendment rights, campaign finance reform and continuing to run “the most accessible and accountable legislative office in state history” will remain his focus in the upper chamber.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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