Five step forward for shot at vacated state House seat
by Erin Dentmon
edentmon@cherokeetribune.com
December 12, 2012 12:00 AM | 1913 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the first two days of qualifying for a special election to fill the state District 21 House of Representatives seat, five Cherokee County residents have thrown their names in the hat.

Natalie Bergeron and Eduardo Correia have joined the race to represent the district.

Bill Fincher has also made his run official.

Bergeron and Fincher, along with Scot Turner and Brain Laurens, qualified Monday to run for the seat. Turner announced his candidacy last week. Correia, an independent candidate, qualified Tuesday.

Rep. Sean Jerguson (R-Holly Springs), who now holds the seat, is running for the District 21 state Senate seat vacated by Chip Rogers earlier this month.

In the race for the District 21 state Senate seat, Georgia Department of Transportation District 6 board member Brandon Beach of Alpharetta qualified Monday, and Jerguson qualified Tuesday.

Qualifying for both races will continue through noon today.

In the House race, Bergeron, the sole Democrat qualified in the race, is a partner at the law firm Bass, Bergeron & Smith, PC, in Woodstock.

Bergeron, 41, has been a resident of Cherokee County since 2000. She and her husband, Chris, live in Holly Springs.

As an attorney, she has worked as a child advocate and guardian ad litem for children.

“I’m heavily involved with CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate). I work with them on a regular basis, and really, for a lot of the foster children I represent, I work with their foster parents as well,” she said.

Bergeron said she’s been frustrated with a lack of Democratic candidates in Cherokee County in the past, so she’s running to give people in the district that choice.

“Other than that, there are a lot of things we want to work on. Better schools in Cherokee County, more industry and work in Cherokee County. We’re in a wonderful spot being a commutable distance to Atlanta, but people in that situation would really want to be home more than spending time in the car,” she said.

Laurens, the owner of a marketing and consulting firm, said his conservative beliefs and his background would make him the best representative for the district.

“I believe that good policy, first off, is derived from the Constitution. I strongly stand in favor of less government, limited government, lower taxes and more free enterprise,” he said.

Laurens is a former officer with the Cherokee County Republican Party and has worked on several political campaigns. This is his first bid for office.

Laurens and his wife, Kelly, live in Hickory Flat and have one daughter.

Fincher, of Holly Springs, is an assistant district attorney for the Appalachian Judicial Circuit who has previously worked in private practice and law enforcement. He listed employment, education and public safety as the three most important issues for Cherokee County.

“I’m a conservative Republican, and I’d like to continue a lifetime of service,” Fincher said.

Turner, who ran against Jerguson for the seat in the July Republican primary, works as director of field services for Source Direct and has served as a precinct chair and a member of the board of directors for the Cherokee County Republican Party.

“We got over 4,000 votes. I think the message resonated with voters,” Turner said, noting he has been seeing support from some people who voted for Jerguson in the primary.

Attempts to reach Correia for comment by press time were unsuccessful.

Friday is the last day to register to vote in the special election, scheduled for Jan. 8.
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