State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta) made the rounds last Monday with Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison, who is endorsing the conservative House leader for the 11th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta), who will run for U.S. Senate.
Lindsey is joined in the race by former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr, Tricia Pridemore from Cobb and state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) for the seat that covers all of Bartow and Cherokee counties, a slice of Cobb from Acworth to Kennesaw to Vinings and a small portion of Sandy Springs and Buckhead in Fulton.
Many are calling this the race to watch next year, and it seems the candidates are all seeking Cherokee voters, a wise move since Cherokee is the only county in the district without a local in the race.
Loudermilk inherited a portion of Cherokee County in his Senate seat during redistricting last year, and ran unopposed for his seat in 2012. He was still visible around the county during the political season, however, making appearances at local forums and meetings.
Loudermilk’s time has paid off as he has picked up several influential backers in Cherokee County, including Woodstock Tea Party leader Conrad Quagliaroli and GOP heavyweight John Marinko in his bid to go to Washington.
Meanwhile, at least one Cherokee County resident, Col. Larry Mrozinski, is sending out signals he may be interested in the job. Mrozinski has formed a congressional exploratory committee. The retired military officer was the alternate to the Republican National Convention from the 11th District last year.
Meanwhile, Barr is becoming a familiar face around town. He was spotted having lunch at popular eatery Riverstone Bistro with Cherokee Commission Chair Buzz Ahrens last week. He has also been at local Republican meetings and a town hall meeting with his Cherokee County campaign chair, County Manager Jerry Cooper.
Only a few days after Lindsey was making the rounds, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) was in town to do a little stumping for the U.S. Senate race to replace Sen. Saxby Chambliss when he leaves office next year. Kingston is in the race with Gingrey, Paul Broun and Karen Handel.
While Gingrey has the advantage of already representing Cherokee County in Congress, Kingston is picking up traction with the backing of Sheriff Garrison.
Kingston spoke to a crowd in Alpharetta in the morning and swung through Fulton before heading up to Cherokee County last Friday withWoodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques and then on to Canton to sit down with banker Dennis Burnette and Ball Ground Mayor Rick Roberts and make the rounds of the Cherokee County Justice Center with District Attorney Shannon Wallace.
For those who want to know more about the candidates gearing up for next year, the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, along with the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, will sponsor a Candidate Forum/Meet and Greet July 30, at 6:30 pm.
The forum will be under the wooden pavilion at Cagle’s Family Farm in Hickory Flat. All local, state and national candidates running for office will be invited to attend.
Elected officials will have two minutes to introduce themselves and report on this year in office. Questions from the audience will follow.
Everyone will have time to meet and greet the candidates and elected officials before and after the forum. Homemade ice cream will be served by Boy Scout Troop No. 465.
The forum is open to the public.
“Around Cherokee” is compiled by Rebecca Johnston and the editorial staff of the Cherokee Tribune.