Parts of south Forsyth County will soon choose between two candidates for a new state Senate seat in the area.
Republican Shawn Still and Democrat Josh Uddin will face off for the state Senate District 48 seat, which represents a portion of south Forsyth County and portions of Fulton and Gwinnett counties following recent redistricting.
Here’s what the candidates had to say ahead of the race:
Residence: Johns Creek.
Occupation: CEO of Olympic Pool Plastering & Shotcrete, owner of Endless River Adventures.
Political Experience: Finance chairman, Georgia GOP.
Family: Three daughters ages 11, 15 and 17.
Residence: Johns Creek & Suwanee
Occupation: Small business owner in the insurance industry.
Political Experience: Previously ran for state Senate in 2020.
Family: Married to wife, Farzana, for 27 years, with two daughters.
Q: If elected, what legislation would you like to take on in 2023?
Still: “School choice is a critical issue for our county and state so I will be on the front lines of this fight. I will also focus on lowering taxes, greater protection for our water resources, particularly Lake Lanier, and fully funding and increasing resources for our police and public safety. As a business owner and being hyper-focused on economic development, I will be fighting Biden's inflation and work to keep Georgia No. 1. for business.”
Uddin: “While there are a number of issues that the legislature should address in 2023, areas of focus for me will be expanding the homestead exemption to lower our property taxes and provide tax relief for Georgians, along with delivering an income tax rebate. I would like to see legislation that will help address rising crime in our community and support law enforcement, including raising pay for police and first responders and exempting them from property taxes. I would also like to see further investments made in our public schools and legislation to address rising healthcare costs, including the cost of prescription drugs and insulin.”
Q: Education legislation including how schools can teach divisive concepts (House Bill 1084) and the Parents' Bill of Rights (House Bill 1178) were big topics this year. What are your thoughts on those pieces of legislation?
Still: “I fully support the legislation that was passed on 1084 and 1178, and will continue to support all legislation that stops the teaching of racial division among students and faculty, as well as increasing parental rights about what is being taught to their children.”
Uddin: “I support empowering parents and preventing burdensome mandates on our teachers that hinder teacher retention and create a situation where our schools are spending time censoring curriculum rather than focusing on academic excellence and preparing our students for the future. As a public-school parent who raised my children to love America and the opportunities and freedom our country offers, I recognize how important it is that parents are included and involved in our schools and would prefer local leaders and local control take precedence when it comes to all aspects of what is taught in the classroom instead of burdensome state mandates. Our schools should be focusing on teaching students the essentials and promoting academic excellence, not promoting any political viewpoint or cause.”
Q: Transportation is commonly one of the biggest issues for local voters. If elected, what steps will you take to improve transportation?
Still: “The entire transportation plan for Forsyth and the surrounding region needs to be overhauled. I will be working with GDOT and our county to ensure we are getting every possible dollar allocated for road widening and improved intersections. Forsyth has been neglected for far too long, and I will be side-by-side with our conservative leaders to make sure Forsyth is a top priority.”
Uddin: “I would focus on working with local elected officials and stakeholders including our county commissioners and mayors to solve the transportation challenges of this diverse district. Since I have lived in this district, I have seen traffic worsen year after year and believe it will take an all-hands-on-deck effort to address these problems. I believe we can make investments in a variety of innovative transportation solutions that will reduce traffic, and we also must focus on smart and managed growth in our community so that we don't worsen the traffic conditions any further. I would like to see the Department of Transportation conduct studies and present options for community input as it relates to our transportation challenges.”