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Election 2016 — State House District 25 hopefuls tout conservative values
Todd Jones
Todd Jones

About this series

This is the third installment in a Forsyth County News Sunday series taking a look at the contested races for local elected office in the May 24 Republican primary. There are no contested local races in the Democratic primary. Early voting begins May 2.

SOUTH FORSYTH — In an election for the only local state legislative post without an incumbent, one thing is certain — the next representative from District 25 will be a Jones.

The May 24 Republican primary will feature Todd Jones and Stuart Jones — no relation and both political newcomers — vying to succeed Mike Dudgeon, who is not seeking a fourth term.

As there are no Democrats running, the winner will be decided next month.

Despite their shared last name, the men have differing views on some issues. While one candidate has been endorsed by Dudgeon, the other is adamantly against such declarations.

Dudgeon said Todd Jones, vice president of international technology firm Process MAP Corporation, would be a “great fit for our community.”

“As a father of four and former Forsyth County School Board’s volunteer of the year, I know that we must not be complacent with our top-rated schools,” Todd Jones said. “We need to stop the out-of-control growth that is threatening the future success of our schools.”

He said he has proven community and business leadership that will help him implement policies that would focus on protecting schools, opposing “every tax increase” and pushing “legislation to require voter approval for any local property tax increase,” implementing federal and state term limits, protecting conservative values and cutting taxes, regulations on businesses and government spending.

While he also promotes conservative values, Stuart Jones said he would not be bound by endorsements or special interests if elected.

“Most candidates are groomed for office by other politicians and lobbyists,” he said. “I will go to the state capitol free of any ‘favors’ owed or politicians to please. This is why I will not accept or seek endorsements.”

Stuart Jones said he is passionate about reducing waste and fraud in the budget and government.

“As a business and financial planner, I know how to manage large budgets and believe I will be effective in this area,” he said. “A major focus for me will be to implement a Georgia FairTax. This will remove our state income tax and replace it with a sales tax based on consumption.”

Another priority is to revive the religious freedom bill the governor recently vetoed.

Though he lives in Johns Creek, Stuart Jones said the issues that face the district are the same, regardless of the county.

“State House districts are not divided by county lines but based on population. Georgia has House districts that include as many as seven different counties. My opponent and I live four miles apart from each other,” he said.

“We have many of the same problems in common: increasing traffic, over-development, school over-crowding, etc., I will represent the people and needs of the entire district and not any one area.”

Only Forsyth County residents who live in District 25 can vote in this race. Voters must be registered by April 24, with advanced voting beginning on May 2.

Elsewhere in other races for local delegation seats, Sen. Steve Gooch of District 51, which covers a small corner of northeast Forsyth, will face fellow Republican John Williamson.

District 27 Sen. Michael Williams will meet Democrat Daniel Blackman on the ballot in November.

Republican state Reps. Geoff Duncan of District 26, Sheri Gilligan of District 24, Wes Cantrell of District 22 and Kevin Tanner of District 9 are all running unopposed for re-election.

The lone incumbent to draw a challenger is Cantrell, who will face Democrat Oscar “Asghar” Hajiloo of Canton in November.