JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Former Johns Creek City Councilwoman Kelly Stewart has announced she will run for the vacant House District 50 seat in the Georgia General Assembly.
Incumbent Brad Raffensperger has already said he will not seek re-election to that office and will instead run for Georgia Secretary of State.
Stewart and Raffensperger had both been re-elected to their respective City Council seats in 2013 when the District 50 House seat became vacant after Gov. Nathan Deal appointed the incumbent Lynne Riley to be his commissioner of Revenue.
Stewart and Raffensperger resigned their council seats to run for Riley’s seat, and Raffensperger won. Now Stewart, a Johns Creek resident, is again seeking the District 50 post.
Stewart said she is getting into this race because she wants to serve her city and the district again.
“I want to make sure our values are represented at the State House,” she said. “And I believe I am the best candidate to do that.”
She said has had plenty of political experience – serving on the City Council and taking on roles in all levels of the government.
“I think you have look at the confidence the city of Johns Creek has placed in me to serve in the past,” she said. “That includes serving as mayor pro tem. I think it is important to support someone who has conservative values who will work on the issues that are important to Johns Creek.”
Those issues include taxes, public safety, education and transportation.
“These are the things that affect our daily lives. And I think that I am the best to do that,” she said. “Experience counts. Part of being successful in office has to do with being able to work with people and to have networks of people. I have a great network of people behind me and supporting me.”
She said she understands how the processes of government work.
“I’m not new to this.”
Looking down the road at the issues facing the state, Stewart said one issue jumps out most.
“I want Georgia to remain a state that attracts businesses. We want Georgia to have a very good business climate – a situation where people and businesses can come in knowing we have great education, great universities and a skilled work force.”
The state needs to maintain attractive tax rates. And good transportation is key to success also, she said.
These are the building blocks that create the environment in which new and established businesses can thrive.
“We have to provide a top-flight transportation system throughout the state. It is important that we can move throughout the state in all modes of transportation.”
The issues are those that affect quality of life – public safety especially, she said. Stewart said her grandfather was a sheriff and an uncle was a police officer – both were killed in the line of duty.
“So public safety is something near and dear to me,” she said.
Stewart said she wants reforms for the property assessment process that is a “broken system.”
“I think taxing people out of their homes is unconscionable. We need someone who will stand up for the people,” she said. “But I am not someone who wants to go down there just to raise a ruckus. I am going down there to serve Johns Creek and the 50th District.’
Stewart said in her career she has worked at all levels of government – local, state and federal.
She said she has positions on Capitol Hill in the U.S. House of Representatives; and in the state level in the University System of Georgia.
She was the first president of the Buckhead Republican Women and she received a citation from the governor for her volunteer work in Junior Achievement as well as a commendation for Georgia’s work in Christians United For Israel.