By the numbers
With all three of Forsyth County’s precincts that are in District 22 reporting, here’s how the race unfolded:
District 22 State House, Republican
* Meagan Biello — 317 votes; 26 percent
* Wesley Cantrell — 915 votes; 74 percent
Source: Forsyth County Elections Office
SOUTHWEST FORSYTH — Wes Cantrell won the July 22 Republican primary runoff election against Meagan Biello to represent District 22 in the state House of Representatives, carrying the vote in Forsyth County as well as districtwide.
Because no Democrats are seeking the position, Cantrell clinched the election and will begin his two-year term in January.
To make the runoff, he and Biello beat out Sam Moore, who has held the office since February.
Moore won a special election last winter to fill the remainder of the late Calvin Hill’s term, which expires at year’s end. Hill died in October.
District 22 covers the southwestern corner (three precincts) of Forsyth, as well as parts of neighboring Cherokee and northern Fulton counties.
It was the first election for Cantrell, a Baptist pastor and former teacher from Woodstock.
Both he and Biello, who teaches economics and history at Creekview High School in Canton, live in Cherokee.
Cantrell won by a 37 percent margin, receiving nearly 69 percent of the votes across the district. In Forsyth, 74 percent of voters chose him.
“My campaign believes Forsyth was important,” Cantrell said. “I want the people of Forsyth to know that I don’t consider them just a little add-on to my district. I consider them a critical part of the district and [they] deserve just as much attention as Cherokee County.”
Cantrell visited the Brandywine precinct in Forsyth on election day and had family members representing him at the Polo and Midway locations.
Cantrell said his first priority when he takes office will be advocating for term limits for state legislators. He proposes serving no more than four consecutive terms.
“A big problem in our state is career politicians at the state legislature,” he said. “I’ve already term-limited myself, and I want to propose or support existing legislation that would term limit all our state legislators.”
He also wants to abolish the state income tax.
“Georgia is the best place to live and work in the country,” he said. “It would be a lot more business-friendly if we got rid of the income tax. We would attract even more businesses.”
Cantrell’s third priority in Atlanta will be ensuring parents have choices for their children’s education.
“Not every child performs best in the traditional classroom setting,” he said. “Parents need as many options available to them as possible — public, private, home, hybrid, online — whatever they need to do to help their child succeed.”
Cantrell and his wife Jane were also one of three founding families of Woodstock’s The King’s Academy, a hybrid school that students attend two days a week while being home-schooled the other three.
Biello said she would support Cantrell at the state legislature.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t how we wanted it to turn out, but we felt like we fought the good fight and we’re very proud of our efforts,” she said. “We wish Wes the best of luck.”