Vote Williamson GA State House District 7 ~ The only Conservative in this Race

Politics
Dear Friend & Neighbor,


Having lived in Gilmer County for nearly 40 years I consider it home. My husband John and I raised our 4 children here and now enjoy our reward – having 11 of our 15 grandchildren who live in the county. 

I am a naturalized citizen who has embraced everything America – the Constitution, our natural God-given Rights, the Rule of Law, and our Flag. 

I have had a full life; I studied Engineering, worked as a Health Care professional, studied Marketing & Business Administration, took time off to raise our children, and owned my own business. 

We are retired now giving us time to volunteer in our community, do some traveling, and do our best to help safeguard the future of our State and Country.

First Baptist Church Ellijay has been our church home for 37 years. I am a member of the Gilmer Chamber of Commerce, Optimist Club, Gilmer County Republicans, Gilmer County Republican Women, and Georgia Federation of Republican Women.

I’m also a Master Gardener Volunteer putting in many hours at the Ellijay Farmers Market, because how best to use the freedom than to make things beautiful.

My Pro Life position is not one of political expedience like many politicians.

I helped found a crisis pregnancy center in Ellijay which has served young women for over 25 years, was on the board, supported it financially, and was a counselor.  On Sanctity of Life Sunday I was on the sidewalk praying and waving signs. 

It’s simple for me; you can’t have liberty without life.

My first involvement in politics goes back to 1994 as a volunteer in a congressional race and since that time have worked on several campaigns. Most recent was as county campaign manager for Donald Trump.

As a regular visitor to the Georgia Capitol I keep informed on current legislation especially those that affect the taxpayers of our State House District 7.  

It has been distressing to see bills passed that fail to meet our needs but only help big business or special interest groups, bills that increase our taxes, and bills that burden us with unfunded mandates, regulations, and growing number of fees that hurt our economy. 

In retirement I have the luxury of being involved but the average North Georgian is busy with both spouses working, raising a family, taking care of elderly parents, or just trying to make time to spend time with their kids. – All with less money in their pocket.

We should be able to trust that our Representative is watching out for us, and that is something that we are currently lacking. I will be your watchman.

Under our current leadership, over the last 10 years, our annual state budget has grown from $15B to $26B. 

In 2015 the largest tax increase in the history of Georgia was passed under HB 170That’s $1 billion more dollars that is taken out of the private sector every year.

52% of our 2017-18 budget goes to Education – that’s $13B and yet we rank #34 in the nation in education.  College tuition has gone up over 75% while state contributions have decreased.  

Tuition for Technical Colleges has gone up 100%. Teacher pension plan (TRS) is severely in jeopardy with over $2B in unfunded liabilities and now a change in the pension plan is discouraging prospective teachers from entering into education – the result is less teachers and larger classroom size.  How is this good for teachers and the kids??

Leadership tells us that Georgia is the #1 place to do business but professional assessments give Georgia a ranking of  #17 in Economic Performance and #19 in Economic Outlook.  

Key factors contributing to this ranking; a State Income Tax that we should abolish, Property Tax Burden, and the recent legislative Tax changes – excise tax hike on fuel, and increased burden on counties that did not vote for T-SPLOST.

In the 7th District almost 35% of our residents live at or below the poverty level, our annual household income is around $40,000, and our per capita salary in $11,000. All well below state and national averages. 


High property taxes, increasing school taxes, fees, penalties, regulations, fuel taxes, and the increase in sales tax on used cars that was just passed – all reduce spendable income.

We need new leadership who isn’t out of touch with the everyday working men and women of Georgia, and really, who aren’t out of touch with reality.

It seems that big government only sees us as a way to get more money so they can give handouts to their buddies.  We pay more taxes for gas while politicians wan tto exempt Delta from paying sales tax on jet fuel!  Who do you think needs the tax break?

I’ve had enough of the good old boy system. We are already taxed and regulated more than enough.

We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the US. Outdoor recreation attracts mountain bikers, hikers, boaters, fishing enthusiasts, and more.  Other attractions include all the new locally owned wineries in their beautiful settings in all three counties in the District, cabin rentals, and most recentlyfabulous wedding venues.  

Local Chambers of Commerce work hard to bring in businesses with higher paying jobs and to attract tourists, as this industry is now the biggest contributor to our economy. 

We can all work together to make our counties attractive to tourists, business, and families – without compromising our Conservative North GA values. 

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, limited government principles and a culture of hard work and what made the American economy great. Let’s just go back to that instead of subsidies and big government.

Significant tax cuts, getting rid of penalties imposed by recent legislation, lowering the corporate income tax rate, and reducing the cost that each wage earner pays for benefits received by illegal immigrants, an annual cost to the state of $2.4B for education, health care, justice and law enforcement, public assistance, and government services.

also support a restructuring of the welfare system. Stronger requirements have worked in other States, why not here in Georgia. 

I will work with the many like-minded members of the House and Senate to make changes that reflect our principles of Conservatism. 

For years we have been promised “Conservative leadership”, “protection for our North Georgia values”, “Constitutional freedoms”, “protection for our Religious Freedom”,  “support for our public schools and teachers”, “gun rights”, “good paying jobs”, a “crack down on illegal immigration”, a “stronger economy”,  “fiscally conservative policies – less spending – lower taxes”, and the “end of state government benefits for those here illegally”. 

These are all promises taken right off the campaign mailers sent out by my big government opponent. What has he delivered on?

Campaign promises are soon forgotten, our Constitution trampled on and despite overwhelming Republican control we still haven’t passed Constitutional Carry, meaningful tax reform, and the fight for Religious Freedom for all continues. 

Billions of dollars are paid in benefits to illegals, and government keeps growing despite the promise to “downsize government”. 

Out of control spending does not reflect “fiscally conservative principles” and the promise to “keep taxes low” turned into the biggest tax increase in the history of Georgia.

As I visit around the district I am struck by all the needs and concerns expressed to me   teen suicides and deaths from opioid overdose, the injustice of finding criminals have more rights than the victim, a shortage of affordable nursing homes, and the frustration of dealing with mental illness. 

I have said from the very beginning of my campaign that I am not running AGAINST the establishment – I am running FOR the People of District 7, Fannin, Gilmer, and Dawson County.

I will work diligently to  meet their needs and not those of a minority of special interest groups.

With our bloated budget and increased revenue thanks to a windfall as a result of President Trump’s federal tax cuts –surely we can do more to help the people of North Georgia instead of subsidizing Atlanta and their agenda.

The Primary election is May 22nd, and you can start early voting April 30th. I ask you for your vote so that, together, we can restore principled Conservative leadership to Georgia.

Margaret Williamson                                    VoteWilliamson2018.com
(706) 276-9136
votemargaret2018@gmail.com

PS: I want to be the most accountable and transparent Representative, please call or email me if you have any questions, comments, or would simply like to chat.ent from my iPhone

Gilmer Chamber holding ‘Meet the Candidates’

Election 2018

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer Chamber has officially announced an opportunity for county citizens to meet with the candidates from the two major elections in our county May 2.

As the only two races with competition, citizens will walk and talk with candidates from the local Post 2 Commissioner election as well as the District 7 candidates for the Georgia State House of Representatives.

Candidates for Post 2 Commissioner include Karleen Ferguson, Jerry Tuso, and Woody Janssen. There is no incumbent in this race.

Candidates for House of Representatives District 7 include David Ralston, Rick Day, and Margaret Williamson. Speaker of the House David Ralston is the incumbent in this race.

Scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, at 6:30 pm, the event will last two hours. Find more information with the Chamber’s flier for the event below.

Author

Gilmer election candidates qualify (FINAL)

Election 2018

ELLIJAY, Ga. – This week marks qualifying for the coming 2018 elections in Gilmer County.

This year’s elections include the county Commission Chairman, Post 2 Commissioner, and Post 4 and Post 5 of the Board of Education.

Each day, FetchYourNews will be taking note of those qualifying for the election and the position for which they will be running.

As of Thursday, March 8, those who have qualified are as follows:

Commission Chairman

Charlie Paris has qualified to run again for Gilmer County Commission Chairman under the Republican Party. He is the current incumbent in this position. According to Paris, this is the first time since leaving the sole commissioner government that a chairman has run unopposed and could possibly be the first time a chairman will fulfill two full terms.

When asked if it was better to run against an opponent and win or to have the county think your doing a good job and have no opposition, Chairman Paris stated it was definitely better to have the county believe in him for another term.

Charlie Paris – Incumbent

Post 2 Commissioner

Post 2 Commissioner will not see the incumbent Travis Crouch running for the position but instead will see four candidates running for the open seat.

Danny Hall has qualified for Post 2 Commissioner under the Republican Party.

Danny Hall

Jerry Tuso  has qualified for Post 2 Commissioner under the Republican Party. Since Tuso has been chairman of Republican Party, a member of the party told FetchYourNews that his qualification requires resignation from his party office.

Jerry Tuso

Karleen Ferguson has qualified for Post 2 Commissioner under the Republican Party.

Karleen Ferguson

Woody Janssen has qualified for Post 2 Commissioner under the Republican Party.

Woody Janssen

Board of Education

Post 4 and Post 5 seats on the Board of Education are non-partisan positions according to our Probate Court.

Ronald Watkins has qualified for the Post 5 seat on the Board of Education. He is the current incumbent in this position.

Ronald Watkins – Post 5 Incumbent

Michael Bramlett has qualified for the Post 4 seat on the Board of Education. He is the current incumbent in this position.

Michael Bramlett

Author

GHS Prom Court Nominees

Gilmer High School

 

Gilmer Bobcats Logo

 

 GHS Prom Court

By: Mariela Aguillon

The enthusiasm to find the perfect dress, shoes, hair, and makeup begins again as the prom court vote results are in.

Prom King and Queen candidates  couldn’t be more joyous with their prom court nominations.

Ten boys and ten girls are in the line for possible king and queen selection.

When the nominees were announced, GHS juniors were content with their choices. Many of the students were excited to hear their friend’s and peer’s names announced as selected finalists.

Current Prom King Ross Cochran and Queen Holli Holder will soon have to pass down the crown to this year’s winners on April 22nd, 2017.  Prom night will be filled with excitement, surprises, and lots of fun as we crown a new Gilmer High School Prom Queen and King.

Prom Court

Queen candidates were Grace Henderson, Karis Kelly, Katie Marick, Faith Ralston, Alexa Stone, Halee Stone, Kameron Stone, Katie Wells, and Kaylin Woodring.

King nominees were Drayton Bennett, Chase Calvert, Jonathan Hoek, Dillan Ledford, Garrett Martin, Evan Minter, Collin Pflueger, Tyler Sims, Chase Stone, and Trevor Watkins.

Author

County Speaks in Close Vote to Elect Chastain

News

The votes tallied with an astoundingly close race. Gilmer County has elected  as their new Probate Judge.

Some precincts came in as low as only 5-7% of registered voters turning out to their precinct Tuesday. At the end of the night, the votes set Scott Chastain at a grand total of 1,122 and Josh Teague at 1,090.

Scott-picture-e1455565967223When asked about his victory, Probate Judge Elect Scott Chastain said, “I’m very humbled by the amount of voters who supported me.” Chastain spoke further about his transition into the office by setting his business with someone to replace his day-to-day duties, but also plans to shadow the current Judge Anita Mullins in her office in the coming months as he studies and attends the coming training sessions for the office. He went on to say, “I was very pleased with the tone of the race. I think we all four brought something good to the race… I kept hearing through the whole race that you had four good candidates and then when it went from four to two I kept hearing you got two good candidates.”

The sentiment was echoed by Chairman of the Gilmer County Republican Party Stephen Aaron, “I said it very early on that it’s rare to have so many good people running for an office, and it’s great that the voters of Gilmer County spoke.”

hs-JoshTTeague-1-262x300FYN also caught up with Josh Teague to ask about his campaign. Teague offered, “I like to thank everybody who came out to support me. We had a lot of great help, a lot of great support.” With pride in his race that his campaign ran, Teague said, “I hope Mr. Chastain succeeds and does well in office. I wish him all the best and success.”

Though both candidates showed great emotion as the results came in, it only served to mask the stress of an election that sat at a 3 vote difference when the precincts were counted, it came out that the early voting and absentee ballots set the final 32 vote difference that set Scott Chastain on top of the election.

Anita-MullinsFYN also sat down with the third party in this election. Though she didn’t run in the race, the current Judge Mullins shed tears as she said she was sad to be leaving the office, but was happy to be taking more time for herself and her family. Judge Mullins gave thanks for a smooth day with little issues in the elections systems. When asked about the final turnout of the race, Mullins stated, “I’ll keep Mr. Chastain in my prayers, that he’ll be able to do a good job and that he will enjoy the job as much as I did.”

The final tally of the precincts totaled:

Big Creek
Scott Chastain – 55
Josh Teague – 47

Boardtown
Scott Chastain – 49
Josh Teague – 39

Cartecay
Scott Chastain – 90
Josh Teague – 66

Cherry Log
Scott Chastain – 38
Josh Teague – 18

East Ellijay
Scott Chastain – 71
Josh Teague – 67

Ellijay NE
Scott Chastain – 45
Josh Teague – 41

Ellijay N
Scott Chastain – 58
Josh Teague – 63

Ellijay S
Scott Chastain – 60
Josh Teague – 69

Leaches
Scott Chastain – 39
Josh Teague – 51

Mountain Town

Scott Chastain – 38
Josh Teague – 45

Tails Creek

Scott Chastain – 33
Josh Teague – 47

Town Creek
Scott Chastain – 28
Josh Teague – 41

Yukon
Scott Chastain – 49
Josh Teague – 56

Mail-ins
Scott Chastain – 60
Josh Teague – 66

Early Voting
Scott Chastain – 409
Josh Teague – 374

Author

Morning Monologue 7/25/16

GMFTO

Author

Ads in Fannin Focus do not show up correctly in Sheriff Candidates Campaign Financial Reports

Featured, Featured Stories, News

Mark Thomason, the publisher of the Fannin Focus has been in the news a lot lately. This is an unrelated story to Thomason’s arrest, “Journalist Jailed”. It does, however go with the big picture of Thomason’s publication the Fannin Focus, “Intent on Integrity”. Read the story and you decide.

FYN has a copy of every Fannin Focus issue since primary election qualifying. We have reviewed each page for all campaign advertising. We also have a copy of the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet. We have cross referenced the ads with the rate sheet. We have all the documents to support this article. FYN files the following report on three Fannin County Sheriff Republican Party Candidates, Johnny Scearce, Jack Taylor and Larry Bennett.

Fannin Sheriff Candidates Political Ad Reporting in Fannin Focus

#FanninCartel Defined

“A coalition or cooperative arrangement between political parties intended to promote a mutual interest”. Did this happen in the Fannin County Sheriff’s race?

Larry Bennett, Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/31, 4/7, 4/14 and 4/28. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, the number of ads and the size of the ads Bennett placed should have totalled $1,142.78 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Bennett’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $0 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. Bennett is the former police chief of McCaysville GA.

Jack Taylor Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12 and 5/19. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, number of ads and size of the ads Taylor should have totaled $7,970.63 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Taylor’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $600 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. This left $7,370.63 of unreported spending with the Fannin Focus. Remember all those full page ads Taylor ran in the paper?

Remember the marquee at the Swan Drive-In, “Vote Jack Taylor for Sheriff”? What did Taylor pay Steve Setser, the owner of the Drive-In, for the advertising? Taylor listed Setser on his Campaign Contribution Disclosure, but in the space where a candidate has to give the amount of the contribution, Taylor wrote “Setser“ but would not give a price or “no charge” (You can legally donate goods or services to a candidate {In-Kind} but the candidate must describe the donation and place a value on their campaign disclosure). In-Kind contribution values must comply with campaign finance laws. Setser is required to place a value on his contribution. Steve Setser also donated $463 for T-Shirts and $300 for flyers to the Taylor campaign.

Jack Taylor Swan

Now, that brings us to Johnny Scearce. Scearce is currently the Blue Ridge City Police Chief. Scearce has run for Fannin County Sheriff several times and is used to filling out a “Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report”. One would assume that Scearce would understand he has to list everyone who contributes to his campaign and show all outlets where he has spent money.  According to Scearce’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report filed on 6/30, he showed $0 left in his campaign account.

Johnny Scearce Republican Candidate for Sheriff placed ads in issues of the Fannin Focus on 3/17, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12 and 5/19. According to the Fannin Focus advertising rate sheet, the number of ads and size of ads Scearce placed should have cost $4,946.89 in advertising with the Fannin Focus. According to Scearce’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report he spent $0 in advertising with the Fannin Focus.

johnny brenda 3johnny full page 3

Scearce hired  Kendell Goss as Campaign Marketing Manager. Scearce paid Goss $3,369.00 and listed it as advertising. Sources tell FYN, Goss handled the campaign website, prepared speeches, and campaign video along with other marketing materials.

Let’s just suppose Goss used some of the money to place ads in the Fannin Focus…it still would have to be disclosed! Scearce disclosed that he spent money directly three times with The News Observer and once with WPPI – FM so why wouldn’t he disclose any money paid to the Fannin Focus or place the ad directly himself?

There is no disclosure on who paid for the ads. We could not find one Johnny Scearce or Larry Bennett ad in the Fannin Focus that discloses “Paid for By.” One could understand if the publisher missed one ad but it seems he missed them all! Why not show who is paying for the campaign ads, it’s a campaign finance rule?

Sheriff Dane Kirby spent $0 with the Fannin Focus and placed no ads in its paper.

The publisher of the Fannin Focus is Mark Thomason. If Thomason decided to give the advertising to the candidates for free, the Fannin Focus would still have to be listed on the candidates campaign finance reports with an “In-Kind” amount. If an “In-Kind” was the desired result to benefit the above listed candidates by Thomason, the amounts have far exceeded the campaign contribution limits.

Some questions…Did Mark Thomason extend $13,460.30 of free advertising to three Fannin County Sheriff candidates? Why just the Sheriff candidates? Could they have been in cahoots (colluding or conspiring together secretly)? Wonder how the other candidates who paid for their ads must feel? Wonder what the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission will think?

Click to read campaign finance reports.

Johnny Scearce 6302016

Jack Taylor 6302016

Larry Bennett 6302016

 

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Related story: Fannin Focus Mark Thomason Arrested, Journalist or Vendetta

 

 

 

Candidate for GA 51st District John Williamson points out Tax Increases since 2010

Election, Featured, Featured Stories, Politics

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