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Tea Party hears from political hopefuls
Handel, Jester tout credentials

CUMMING — Forsyth County Tea Party members heard from two Republican candidates in the wide-open fields for state school superintendent and U.S. Senate on Monday night.

Nancy Jester of DeKalb County is one of 15 political hopefuls vying to replace John Barge as school chief. Before facing a Democrat in November, Jester must secure the May 20 primary race against eight other Republicans.

Jester said she is a “natural fit” for the role because of her fiscal experience as an actuarial consultant.

“We first have a fiscal problem,” she said, calling the current funding formula a “bureaucratic wonderland.”

Financial accountability would be Jester’s first step toward improving education in the state. She would also expand options to customize education for families.

The mother of three students in public schools said curriculum needs to be “common sense, not Common Core,” highlighting the national standards adopted by Georgia. She was critical of the social studies curriculum her third-grader is studying, noting it doesn’t mention the nation’s Founding Fathers or the Bill of Rights.

“This is what’s going on in your schools that your tax dollars are paying for,” she said. “We are not teaching children about the Bill of Rights before we’re teaching them social indoctrination. This is a problem.”

In her address to the gathering of Tea Party members and guests, Handel highlighted her experience serving on the Fulton County commission, as president and CEO of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and as Secretary of State.

With each role, she said, she helped make budget cuts, fix mistakes and worked with both Republicans and Democrats.

“That’s the kind of leadership, the kind of resolve, that I’m going to take to the United States Senate because we need to have individuals who have some guts and a spine to really take care and really move forward on some serious issues that this country is facing,” she said.

If elected to succeed Saxby Chambliss, who is not seeking another term, Handel said her priorities would include repealing the Affordable Care Act, which she dubs “the Obama health care tax,” strengthening the nation’s fiscal house using zero-based budgeting and replacing the IRS for the Fair Tax.

According to Handel, citizens are overtaxed and overregulated, but there are still are no results, the debt is unsustainable and the blame is not just on Democrats.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have had a chance to make change and they’ve failed, she said, pointing to three of her opponents in the U.S. Senate race — Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston.

“The surest way to keep getting more of the same is to keep electing the same people. The members of congress who are running for this seat, they are asking for a promotion,” she said. “They have had 10 to 20 years to do every single thing that they are talking about doing now.

“Results matter ... and if we really want to put this country on a different track, on a different trajectory, we need to have new leadership in the Senate.”