Forsyth County will have a new representative for District 27 in the state Senate, now it’s up to voters to decide who that will be.
The race to replace former state Sen. Michael Williams, who stepped down to run for governor, will be between Republican Greg Dolezal and Democrat Steve Smith.
Advance voting began on Oct. 15 and will continue this week.
Advance voting is available at the new Forsyth County Voter Registrations and Elections Office at 1201 Sawnee Drive weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Early voting is also available at the Hampton Park Library, the Midway Park Community Building and the Sharon Springs Park Community Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., today and Nov. 2; and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 1.
Below are some of the candidates’ stances on the issues in the race.
Experience: Dolezal is a partner at Renewed Vision, a Forsyth County-based technology firm. He has previously served on the Forsyth County Planning Commission, the Impact Fee Committee, the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and the Transportation Plan Steering Committee.
More info: www.dolezalforsenate.com
Dolezal has said he wants to “laser-focus” strengthening economic development and wants to curt bureaucracy and regulations to make it easier to start and operate businesses. He also opposed all tax increases.
He wants to protect students by ensuring state funding when it is needed and funding new school construction. He opposes school overcrowding. He is also in favor of a proposed change to allow school systems to collect impact fees, or fees paid by developers.
Dolezal has said he supports the right to keep and bear arms and Second Amendment rights.
He is opposed to sanctuary cities and wants to enforce federal immigration rules.
Experience: Smith is a graduate of Lassiter High School in Marietta but grew up in Oklahoma and lived in Texas, California and Nevada after graduating. He works in property management, is on the board of trustees at his Roswell church and has lived in the county for 10 years.
More info: www.stevesmithforgeorgia.com
Smith has advocated for an economy focused on working families through a minimum living wage and combating wage stagnation.
He favors “revitalizing the HOPE scholarship” and opposes using tax dollars for charter schools. He said he wants to see increased innovation in the state.
Smith said he is opposed to gun violence in the country, which he has called an epidemic, and wants to take a multifaceted approach to balance safety and gun rights through more funding for mental health care, programs to teach students and teachers warning signs for troubled kids and reforming gun laws.
He has said Forsyth County could have between 10,000 and 20,000 undocumented immigrants living in the area and working in local businesses and said expelling them would impact the local economy.