There are a few competitive primary races in Northeast Cobb this summer, but only in the Republican primary.
Legislative incumbents Don Parsons, Matt Dollar and John Carson in the July 31 primary. So will sitting Cobb school board member David Banks.
Only one candidate vying for any local office in Northeast Cobb this year is a Democrat.
Kevin "Big Kev" Westphal, an active member of the Cobb Democratic Party and the Young Democrats of Georgia, has qualified to run in the November general election for State House District 46. He will await the primary winner between Carson, who's seeking his first term, and Woodstock minister Martin Hawley.
Westphal, a graduate who attended the University of Georgia, is a manager at Hobbytown USA who is seeking office for the first time.
In a press release issued this week, his campaign said he is running because "I have seen my county and my state fall victim to a party that cares more about the wishes of a handful of partisans and insiders more than real policies that affect my neighbors. Right now, Atlanta and its outlying metro region is being stalled by folks who care more about their own re-election than keeping Georgia ahead of the curve.
"We are quickly losing ground to cities like Charlotte who have invested in infrastructure and education, and are attracting new businesses and tourism opportunities that once would have been granted to Atlanta. Georgia needs real transportation solutions, infrastructure improvements, and education policies that will reinstall Georgia as the jewel of the South."
Carson, a banking executive, has represented Northeast Cobb's District 43 , after he won a special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Bobby Franklin.
That district has been redrawn and renamed District 46, and will take in extreme Northeast Cobb and a small portion of southern Cherokee and Woodstock.
“Kevin has been a strong leader and an incredibly knowledgeable presence in the Cobb Democrats for more than a decade,” Melissa Pike, Chair of the Cobb Democratic Party, said of Westphal. “Kevin’s depth of knowledge of the legislative process combined with his connection to the everyday Georgian would make him not only a formidable presence in the legislature, but also an asset to the Democratic Caucus.”
Here's more on Westphal from his campaign website.
Getting candidates to run for other offices in Republican-rich Northeast and East Cobb has been a challenge for the county Democratic Party, especially for legislative seats.
Two Democrats ran against East Cobb Republicans in 2010 legislative races, but didn't come close to winning. Longtime Cobb Democratic activist RuthE Levy was defeated by Dollar in her third attempt to win the seat, polling only 25 percent of the vote. Marketing consultant Diane Lore captured a little more than 30 percent against veteran Republican State Rep. Sharon Cooper.
This year Cooper is unopposed, as is Sen. Judson Hill, a Republican who represents most of East and Northeast Cobb.
The only other Democrats running on a ballot available to Northeast Cobb voters are candidates for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, a seat held by Republican Tom Price.
He will face the winner of the July 31 Democratic primary between Suwanee business owner Robert Montigel and Alpharetta business consultant Jeff Kazanow.