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Candidate Q&A: John Carson

A profile of one of five Republican hopefuls in the Sept. 20 State House District 43 special election.

John Carson, an accountant for SunTrust, will tell you he is not a “professional politician.” In fact, he’s never run for public office, until now.

On his website, Carson says he is “tired of professional politicians who seem to be more concerned with the spotlight than working for our families.”

Carson, 39, is one of five candidates running in a special election for the Georgia House District 43 seat held for 15 years by Rep. Bobby Franklin, who died in July.

The election for the northeast Cobb County seat is Tuesday, Sept. 20.  If a runoff is needed it will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The winner will represent northeast Cobb in the 2012 legislative session.

If newly drawn legislative maps are approved, the district will get a new number – 46 – and will stretch into Cherokee County to pick up additional voters. But voters in the current district will go to the polls Sept. 20.

Early voting continues through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at two locations: the East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road; and the Cobb Elections Main Office, 736 Whitlock Avenue.

Carson is a native of Atlanta who moved to Cobb in 1992. He has a degree in accounting from Georgia State University and a master’s in finance from Kennesaw State University. Carson and his wife, Beverly, a Sprayberry High graduate, have two young children.

As a CPA, he says, “I understand the devastating effects of high taxes on both our families and businesses. Individuals know best how to spend their money and create jobs — not the government.”

Carson wants to eliminate corporate incomes taxes as one way to bring more jobs to Georgia. He answered questions about his campaign for Patch:

Q: If elected, you’ll have a short learning curve before the start of the 2012 Legislature. What do you think will be the two or three biggest issues facing legislators in January, and how do you think they should be addressed?

A: It’s all about getting our economy and families back to work.

-- New jobs. With 10.2% unemployment, we’ve got to get serious on attracting new businesses and jobs to Cobb County and Georgia. By cutting corporate taxes, reducing regulation, good schools and transportation improvements we can make Georgia number 1 in job creation.

-- Budget and spending. The Legislature is most likely going to have reform government and make tough decisions if revenues are down. It is vital that we prioritize spending and cut waste by implementing zero-based budgeting.

-- Tax reform. We need to get to work on reforming the tax code in a way that lowers taxes on our families and businesses and is fair for everyone. It is vital that we have meaningful tax reform in Georgia. It is time.

Q: You were planning a run against Rep. Franklin before his passing. How would you compare yourself, politically, to him? What issues might you have campaigned on?

A: If the situation were different, I would comment, but with Rep. Franklin’s unfortunate passing, I am going to respect him and let him rest in peace. All I can promise the people of this district is that I will be an effective, conservative leader they can trust to work for them.

Q: Rep. Franklin voted “no” on most bills that came up in the Legislature. Was he representing the views of his Cobb constituents?

 A: Again, I think we should let Rep. Franklin rest in peace. I am running to provide new, conservative leadership that is effective in providing new jobs, tax reform and protecting our conservative values. I will work to provide accountable, limited government that never forgets that it works for the people.

Q: If the for transportation projects vote were held today would you support it?

A: It is up to the voters to decide. If it passes, I want to ensure that this doesn’t become a bailout for MARTA and public transportation. In addition, we need to use the resources on vital projects that reduce traffic congestion for our area and in order to attract new businesses and jobs. If it fails, we must address traffic congestion in some other way. Our existing highways and major roads simply have not kept up with our suburban growth.

Q:  How will you vote?

A: As the draft project list stands right now, I would vote no.

Q: Given a federal judge has ruled parts of the state's new immigration reform law unconstitutional, what should the state’s next move be?

A: Georgia should appeal and take it to court. Immigration may technically be a federal issue, which is the complaint many have against Georgia’s law, but the fact is the federal government is failing to do its job in enforcing the law. If the federal government fails to enforce immigration laws, it’s Georgia’s job to do so.

Q: How would the proposed reapportionment plan outlined by the Republican leadership of the House and the Senate impact the current House District 43? Do you believe it is a plan that is fair?

A: The Republican redistricting plan, in both the House and Senate, couldn’t be anymore fair. They did a fantastic job, and the Democrats will not have a leg to stand on in court. As I understand it, the maps even provide for more majority-minority districts than the Justice Department required. As far as the effect on HD 43, it will add some of Cherokee County.

Q: If the Georgia Presidential primary were held today, who would you support?

A: Honestly, I’m rather busy with my own campaign! Still looking at the options, but I think any of the candidates would be a better choice than Obama. I like Herman Cain’s straight, non-political talk on the issues and Rick Perry’s solid, conservative record of creating jobs and lowering taxes in his state.

Q: What current politician nationally or in Georgia do you think you are most like? Why?

A: Well, I’m not a professional politician, but I think if elected, my voting record would be similar to Sen. Chip Rogers. I admire his conservative values and pro-business policies.

Other candidate profiles: 

Roy C. Barnes

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