About this series
This article is the second in a four-part Sunday series previewing the races in the upcoming Republican primary runoff election July 22. The ballot will include the contests for the state Senate District 27 post, the District 22 seat in the state House of Representatives, Forsyth County solicitor general and Georgia school superintendent and U.S. Senate.
* Previous story: District 27 state Senate race.
SOUTHWEST FORSYTH — Both candidates vying for the District 22 post in the state House of Representatives want to continue with the legacy of the late Calvin Hill, who held the position for about a decade before his death in October.
To make the July 22 primary runoff, Meagan Biello and Wes Cantrell beat out Sam Moore, who has held the office since February.
Moore won a special election to fill the remainder of Hill’s term, which expires at year’s end.
Both Biello and Cantrell say they are looking to represent their constituents and restore Hill’s vision to the office.
A wife, mother of two and teacher, Biello said she is a good representative of the needs of the district, which includes the southwest corner of Forsyth and parts of Cherokee and northern Fulton counties. In Forsyth, that amounts to some 10,000 voters living in the Brandywine, Polo and Midway precincts.
Biello teaches Advanced Placement microeconomics and honors U.S. history at Creekview High School, west of Canton, where she is also a cheerleading coach.
Biello said her background in economics, political science and teaching make her an ideal candidate, as the greatest issues facing the district are the economy, transportation and education.
She said she would work to change the regional system setup in transportation, give students and parents more options in schools and limit government interference in small business to encourage entrepreneurship.
“With me, [voters] can count on a dependable conservative leader who will listen to them, who has an open mind about the direction Georgia is going in and who wants to keep District 22 as one of the best districts to live, work and visit.”
Biello supports Second Amendment rights, tax reform, economic growth, right to life and ethics reform. She also said she would actively work to fight against the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
If elected, Biello said she plans to continue what she’s been doing during her campaign — listening.
“My plan is to listen to the constituents and keep an open line of communication between myself and them so I can know what they think is important and what they value.”
As a young adult pastor at Woodstock First Baptist Church, Cantrell said he was worried his district’s leadership was no longer present.
“My concern was that our district not just have a strong voice, but have a voice that could work with others to accomplish good things for Georgians and Cherokee, Forsyth and Fulton counties,” he said. “That’s what really motivated me to run.
“I’m accustomed to working with large groups of people to find what we have in common and what we can do together for the good of our community.”
Cantrell, who’s been married for 28 years and has three children, has also worked as a teacher, founded an academy and served on boards of multiple nonprofits. In addition, he’s been a youth minister for more than 20 years.
Among his top priority would be to set term limits “so that we don’t have a House of Representatives made up of career politicians.” His second priority would be to eliminate the state income tax.
He also is pro-life, a supporter of the Second Amendment and would fight against the Affordable Care Act.
“If you look at my record of leadership in my community and the things I’ve accomplished in my life, I think I’ve proven myself to be strong and have made a difference and someone who understands that for the most part, we need to limit government,” he said.